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Robert WimberlyDefensive Coordinator/Safeties
College: Alabama A&M ('02)
Start Date: 1/5/12
Robert Wimberly is no stranger to Liberty, as his addition to Turner Gill's coaching staff in January 2012 marked his second stint as an assistant coach with the Flames.
Wimberly previously worked on Liberty's staff for five seasons (2004-08) before he joined Gill's at Buffalo in 2009 to coach the Bulls' linebackers.
Gill gave Wimberly additional responsibility with his return to Liberty Mountain, as he was named Liberty's defensive coordinator, with direct supervision over the Flames' safeties. In his first season, he also helped the Flames transition back to a "4-3" defensive scheme.
During his first two years back at Liberty, Wimberly has had 13 players receive Big South all-conference accommodations, which is more than any other defensive unit in the league during that span of time.
Wimberly has instructed a top 20 ranked defense both seasons at Liberty. The Flames finished 2012 ranked No. 15 in the country in total defense (314.7 yards allowed per game) and No. 9 in 2013 (313.9). The Flames also ranked No. 5 in the country in scoring defense in 2013, as Liberty limited opposing offenses to 17.6 points per game.
During his two seasons back on staff, Wimberly has helped the Flames win back-to-back shared Big South titles.
Liberty also knocked off a pair of top 25 opponents (No. 6 Stony Brook in 2012 and No. 16 Charleston Southern in 2013), marking the third time in program history Liberty has defeated ranked teams in consecutive seasons.
Wimberly has also helped develop some of the rising stars in the professional ranks. Wimberly was the coach responsible for noticing the talents of Khalil Mack, who he helped Gill sign out of high school at Buffalo. The linebacker went on to be the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft when he was selected by the Oakland Raiders.
Wimberly was also responsible for honing the skills of Walt Aikens during the final two years of his career at Liberty. Aikens, a three-time all-conference cornerback, was taken by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round in 2014, becoming Liberty's seventh NFL Draft pick and the third highest overall.
Prior to his return to Liberty, Wimberly worked two seasons as Kansas' safeties coach (2010-11) and one season as Buffalo's linebackers coach (2009). In 2009, the Bulls ranked No. 42 in the country in total defense, allowing 342.67 yards per game.
During his first stint on Liberty's coaching staff, Wimberly's on-field coaching responsibilities were to instruct Liberty's linebackers. He also served the staff as Liberty's director of high school relations.
During his first two seasons with the program, Liberty's linebackers excelled in production and led the team with more than 100 tackles both seasons. Nick Vaughn led the program with 105 tackles in 2004, and Manny Rojas finished with a team-best 102 stops in 2005.
Rojas finished as the Big South Conference's second all-time leading tackler (at the time of graduation) and was a three-time, all-conference honoree.
In 2007, Wimberly's linebackers continued to shine, helping Liberty finish the year ranked No. 24 in rushing defense (128.5 yards per game), No. 32 in scoring defense (22.3 points per game) and No. 40 in total defense (349.3 yards per game).
Wimberly also coach Vince Redd during his final collegiate season before the linebacker signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots. Redd would go on to play two seasons with the Patriots, working with the squad in 2008 and 2009.
Before coming to Liberty, Wimberly served as a quality control assistant and graduate assistant at Wisconsin during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
Wimberly was a four-year letterwinner at Alabama A&M, where he received his bachelor's degree in science and hospitality management in 2002. His senior year was abruptly ended after two games, due to a season-ending neck injury.
Wimberly completed his master's degree in educational policy and administration at the University of Wisconsin in 2005.
The native of Miami, Fla., is married to the former Tracie Pruitt of Birmingham, Ala., and the couple has two children – Bianca and Josiah.
Wimberly at a Glance
Year at Liberty: Eighth
2012-13 (2 years) – Liberty (Def. Coord., LB, S)
2010-11 (2 years) – Kansas (S)
2009 (1 year) – Buffalo (LB)
2004-08 (5 years) - Liberty (LB)
2002-03 (2 years) – Wisconsin (QC, GA)
Recruiting Area: Henrico County, Fla., Northeast and Southeast, Fla., areas, Wisconsin and Iowa
Education: Bachelor's degree in science and hospitality management (Alabama A&M, '02), Master's degree in educational policy and administration (Wisconsin, '05)
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Children: Bianca and Josiah