CURRENT LIBERTY CAREER
Robert Wimberly is no stranger to Liberty. His return 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 joining Gill at Buffalo in 2009 to coach linebackers.
Gill gave Wimberly additional responsibility on his return to Liberty Mountain by naming him defensive coordinator, with direct supervision over safeties. Just prior to the start of the 2018 season, Gill elevated Wimberly to the position of associate head coach.
Wimberly's outstanding ability to teach football has not gone unnoticed; he was named the 2014 American Football Coaches Association FCS Assistant Coach of the Year.
Since his return to the Flames, Wimberly has had 30 players receive All-Big South accolades and the program's first-ever Big South Defensive Player of the Year award in Chima Uzowihe in 2015. Additionally, the defensive lineman was also named a finalist for the 2015 STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year award and STATS FCS and Associated Press All-America second teams.
Wimberly coordinated a top-20-ranked defense in his first two seasons at Liberty. The Flames finished 2012 ranked No. 15 in the country in total defense and No. 9 in 2013. The Flames also ranked No. 5 in the country in scoring defense in 2013, as Liberty held opposing offenses to 17.6 points per game.
During Liberty's run to the second round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs in 2014, Wimberly's defense ranked No. 3 in the country in turnovers gained (32), No. 6 in fumbles recovered (15), and No. 12 in interceptions (17).
Prior to Liberty's move to the FBS level, Wimberly helped Liberty win four Big South titles (2012-14, 2016) and the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA FCS Playoffs in 2014. Liberty finished the 2014 season ranked No. 17 in the country — the program's highest year-end ranking since 2008. The Flames were 9-5 in 2014, matching the second-highest win total in program history.
Wimberly helped Liberty kicked off its two-year FBS transition process in grand style when the Flames posted a 48-45 win at Baylor on Sept. 2, 2017. The stunning victory was ranked as the seventh biggest upset in college football over the last 25 years in an article on ESPN.com (Sept. 6, 2017).
Wimberly was a four-year letter-winner during his undergraduate studies at Alabama A&M. His senior year abruptly ended after two games due to a season-ending neck injury. Wimberly then served as a quality control assistant and graduate assistant at Wisconsin during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
During his first stint on Liberty's coaching staff (2004-08), Wimberly's on-field responsibilities were to coach Liberty's linebackers. He also served 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 was the Big South Conference's second all-time leading tackler 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, No. 32 in scoring defense, and No. 40 in total defense. Wimberly also coached Vince Redd during his final collegiate season before the linebacker signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots. Redd went on to play two seasons (2008-09) with the Patriots.
Safety Jacob Hagen rewrote several of Liberty's records under Wimberly's watch, including one that saw him finish his career with 15 interceptions and 21 pass breaks. He was a two-time All-American and finished seventh in the final voting for the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award (top FCS defensive player in the country). He signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams after graduation.
Wimberly then worked one season as Buffalo's linebackers coach (2009) and two seasons as Kansas' safeties coach (2010-11). In 2009, the Bulls ranked No. 42 in the country in total defense, allowing 342.67 yards per game.
Wimberly has also helped develop some of the rising and top-tier stars in the professional ranks. He was the coach responsible for noticing the talents of Khalil Mack, whom 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 at a Glance Coaching Experience: 2012-present – Liberty (Assoc. HC, Def. Coord., LB, S) 2010-11 – Kansas (S) 2009 – Buffalo (LB) 2004-08 - Liberty (LB) 2002-03 – Wisconsin (QC, GA) Recruiting Area: Virginia (Richmond/Hanover/Henrico County), Arizona, Florida (Brevard/Dade/Duval/Jacksonville), Georgia (Atlanta/Gwinnett), Nevada, New Mexico and Utah 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. Wife: Tracie Children: Bianca and Josiah