John Wiley, a former longtime assistant coach at Appalachian State University, has traded in the black and gold for the purple and gold after being named defensive coordinator by Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir MAEd ’95. Wiley brings more than 30 years of coaching experience at a variety of levels to the Catamount football program.

Wiley returns to the familiar mountains of Western North Carolina after spending six seasons in the eastern part of the state at East Carolina. “John is an experienced coach and a proven winner. We coached together at Appalachian State where John led our defense and was a part of that staff that won three national championships and six Southern Conference titles. He also brings over 20 years of experience in recruiting North Carolina to the position,” Speir said.

“It is always comforting to hire a guy you have worked with and trust. John will move in from day one and understand our vision and the expectations for this Catamount football program. He will be a great representative for Western Carolina University,” he said.

During his six seasons as the associate head coach and linebackers coach at East Carolina, Wiley helped guide the Pirates to four bowl game appearances and helped transform ECU’s defense into one of the nation’s top 40 units in two of his final three years. He was instrumental in producing six all-conference players including three first-team selections, a Freshman All-American and a conference freshman of the year.