Brent Pry
Brent Pry

Defensive Line


Alma Mater:
Buffalo, 1993

Brent Pry joined the Tiger coaching staff in February 2007, and is entering his third season as the Tigers' defensive line coach in 2009.

An enthusiastic and aggressive leader, Pry has been instrumental in developing a defensive line that is bigger, stronger and more physical than in seasons past.

Pry had a veteran group in 2008, which included upperclassmen Clinton McDonald, Corey Mills, Greg Terrell, Freddie Barnett, Jada Brown and Steven Turner; and he added young talent in redshirt freshman Joel McCleod and true freshman Frank Trotter. The large group allowed for much depth and kept fresh legs on the field. Pry and his talented line were instrumental in Memphis improving from 103rd in rushing defense in 2007, to 76th in 2008.

McDonald, who served as a team captain in 2007 and 2008, ranked 37th nationally with seven sacks. He led the line with 39 tackles despite missing two games with an injury, and was a first-team pick on the All-C-USA team. McDonald was drafted in the seventh round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

In 2007, McDonald was fifth on the team in tackles with 55 and led the squad in TFL and sacks. Greg Terrell, Freddie Barnett, Josh Weaver, Corey Mills, Steven Turner and Jada Brown all combined for 31 TFL and 177 total tackles.

Pry, 39, joined the U of M staff after working five years at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. He coached the Ragin' Cajuns' linebackers for five years and was promoted to assistant head coach in 2004.

UL-Lafayette had its first winning record since 1995 when the Ragin' Cajuns ended the 2005 season with a 6-5 record and a Sun Belt Conference title. In 2005, ULL closed out the season with a five-game winning streak. During that time, the defense allowed just 18 points per game.

In 2004, the Cajuns allowed just 174.5 passing yards per game, which ranked 11th nationally. Six ULL defensive players coached by Pry are on NFL rosters.

A native of Lexington, Va., Pry was an assistant coach at Western Carolina for four years (1998-2001) before joining the ULL staff. He coached the defensive line for two seasons before moving to defensive backs and special teams the latter two years. In 1998, WCU finished ninth in Division I-AA in total defense.

In 2001, he helped the Catamount defense to a No. 1 ranking in touchdown passes allowed with just five. In addition, Pry's secondary was ranked third nationally in pass defense.

From 1995-98, Pry was a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech with the defensive line. While there, the Hokies ranked No. 1 nationally against the run, fifth in scoring defense and 10th in total defense. The squad garnered two Big East championships and made appearances in the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Gator Bowl during that time.

A free safety at Maryville College in 1988, Pry later transferred to Buffalo, where he played under former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett. Pry sat out the 1989 season and lettered in 1990. He suffered a career-ending injury in 1991 and returned to the field as a student assistant coach for the 1992 season. Pry earned his bachelor's degree in history in 1993.

Pry began his coaching career at East Stroudsburg University as an outside linebackers coach in 1993 and worked with defensive backs in 1994.

Coaching runs in the family, as his father, Jim, is an assistant coach at Illinois.

Pry and his wife, Amy, have a seven-year-old son, Colby; and a daughter, Madeline, who was born in October 2008.

The Pry File


• April 1, 1970

• Altoona, Pa.

Alma Mater

• Buffalo, 1993

• Bachelor's degree in history

Collegiate Playing Experience

1990: Buffalo (Free Safety)

1988: Maryville College (Free Safety)


• Wife - Amy

• Children - Madeline & Colby

Coaching Experience

2007-Present: University of Memphis

2002-06: University of Louisiana-Lafayette

1998-01: Western Carolina

1995-98/GA: Virginia Tech

1993-94: East Stroudsberg

1992/SA: Buffalo

Recruiting Area

• Central & east Tennessee, north Alabama & north Georgia

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