The University of Louisville football program has hired Norval McKenzie as its running backs coach, head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Tuesday.
Before joining the Louisville staff, McKenzie spent the last three seasons as the running backs coach at Arkansas State.
“Norval came highly recommended by many in the coaching industry,” Satterfield said. “After interviewing him it was clear, not only was he extremely intelligent, he’s driven and motivated to be the best in the country. He will be a great addition to our football family. “
Last season, McKenzie’s running backs were an integral component of the offense that averaged 186.4 yards on the ground, guiding the Red Wolves to an 8-5 record and a win over Nevada in the Arizona Bowl. McKenzie tutored two of the Sun Belt’s top-10 rushers in Marcel Murray and the league’s Freshman of the Year Warren Wand.
Murray, who finished seventh in the Sun Belt in rushing, ran for 860 yards and eight scores, while Wand totaled 792 yards and four touchdowns to help the Red Wolves finish fifth in the conference in rushing. Wand closed his career finishing in the top 10 in school history in rushing yards.
McKenzie’s impact was felt during his second season, helping the Red Wolves rank No. 10 in the nation in total offense, averaging a school-record 494.8 yards per game. The unit also accounted for 10 combined touchdowns as the team ranked No. 13 in the country in scoring offense with 37.8 points per game. In that season, Wand and Johnson combined for 1,145 yards and nine touchdowns.
In McKenzie’s first season in 2016, the Red Wolves won a Sun Belt Conference championship with a 7-1 record and defeated UCF 31-13 in the Cure Bowl. During that campaign, Wand and junior Johnston White combined to rush for 1,351 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wand, a second-team all-conference honoree, rushed for a team-high 879 yards, while also posting 24 receptions for 279 yards and three more scores.
Before his stint at Arkansas State, McKenzie spent five seasons at Furman, serving as the running backs coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
While coaching at Furman, McKenzie instructed a pair of All-Southern Conference running backs and two others who were named to the league’s All-Freshman team. Jerodis Williams was a two-time All-SoCon choice after rushing for 2,225 yards and 20 touchdowns over his junior and senior campaigns, in addition to earning All-America honors in 2012 when he led the FCS in kickoff returns (35.9 avg., 2 TDs).
McCloud, who completed his career ranked 10th in Furman rushing history, garnered all-conference recognition in 2013 after running for 1,110 yards and five scores. Triston Luke rushed for 385 yards and a pair of scores in 2015 to find a place on the league’s All-Freshman team, while Marcus Anderson earned the recognition in 2013 when he posted 334 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
McKenzie helped lead Furman to a 2013 SoCon championship and several victories over FCS nationally-ranked teams, including No. 5 Wofford in 2011. The Paladins also knocked off then-FCS member and No. 3-ranked Appalachian State in 2011.
A Powder Springs, Ga., native and former football standout at McEachern (Ga.) High School, McKenzie was a four-year football letterman for Vanderbilt (2001-04), where he rushed for 1,411 career yards. He battled back from a serious leg injury his sophomore year to lead Vanderbilt in rushing as both a junior and senior.
McKenzie earned an undergraduate degree in secondary education, political science, and American history in 2005. He completed his master’s degree in education at Vanderbilt in 2010.
Following graduation, he began his coaching career at Hiram (Ga.) High School, working two seasons there before returning to Vanderbilt as a graduate assistant coach for the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
The 2008 season saw him help Vanderbilt post its first winning season (7-6) since 1982 and a 16-14 victory over Boston College in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl – the program’s first bowl victory since 1955. McKenzie assumed the duties of assistant recruiting coordinator, while also helping with player development and coordinating the Gridiron Club for former Commodore letter winners, in 2010.
McKenzie is the father of one daughter, Anaya, and he and his wife Amber have a son, Storm.