2013 Memphis Football National Signing Day.
Chris Vaughn is in his second season serving as the University of Memphis' cornerbacks coach.
In his first season, Memphis led the league in total defense in conference games played, giving up just 331.6 yards per game. Memphis lowered its total yardage allowed in conference games from the previous season by 30 percent.
In 2012, Memphis ranked 50th nationally in defense (383.58 yards per game). The Tigers made a 67-position improvement from the 2011 season when they ranked 117th with a 491.00 total defense average. Memphis' 138-yard rushing defense total for the year ranked 32nd nationally.
Memphis ranked last nationally in pass defense for the 2011 season but in Vaughn's first season the Tigers made a 42-spot improvement, allowing 245.58 yards passing in 2012.
The Tigers posted a 4-4 mark in Conference USA play, winning more league games in 2012 than the previous three seasons combined. Memphis' 4-8 overall record marked the team's best finish since 2008.
Prior to joining the Memphis staff, Vaughn spent the previous four seasons (2008-11) at Ole Miss where he directed the defensive backs and served as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Vaughn's time at Ole Miss was highlighted by a 2009 unit that was one of the nation's toughest pass defenses. With corners Marshay Green and Cassius Vaughn, Ole Miss ranked No. 11 in pass efficiency defense and No. 15 in pass defense in the NCAA.
Overall, the Rebels finished fourth in the SEC and 15th nationally in scoring defense (17.7 ppg) and fourth in the league and 21st nationally in total defense (314.7 ypg). After the season, Green and Vaughn signed NFL contracts with Arizona and Denver, respectively.
In his first season with Ole Miss, Vaughn helped coach a Rebels defense that intercepted 16 passes which were eight more picks than the previous season. The unit also improved from 11th to fifth in scoring defense and from 12th to fifth in total defense in the SEC.
During his first spring drills as cornerbacks coach at Ole Miss, he faced the immediate challenge of transforming Green, a wide receiver, into a cornerback, a position where the Rebels were short on personnel. Green entered the starting lineup in the third contest of the 2008 season and started 22 games his final two seasons.
Under Vaughn's watch, Green earned Defensive MVP honors in the 2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The Ole Miss secondary limited Texas Tech All-American Michael Crabtree to just 30 receiving yards in that game.
As recruiting coordinator, Vaughn helped assemble a 2009 signing class that Rivals.com ranked 18th in the nation. The website also named Vaughn one of the Top-25 Recruiters in the Country. The Rebels' 2010 class earned even higher praise from Scout.com (No. 15), while the 2011 signing class dominated the state of Mississippi like none before had done, inking the state's top-five recruits and eight of the "Dandy Dozen." The class included a school-record four U.S. Army All-Americans.
Vaughn participated in several programs for aspiring head coaches held by the NCAA, including the 2009 NCAA Minority Coaches Forum, the NCAA Football Coaches Academy and the NCAA Football Coaches Expert Academy. He also took part in the NFL's Minority Internship program with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009 and Philadelphia Eagles in 2006.
Prior to following Houston Nutt at Ole Miss, Vaughn served on the Arkansas staff for nine seasons (1999-2007), including four as recruiting coordinator.
During his Razorbacks tenure, Vaughn's coaching responsibilities included outside linebackers (2000-04), outside linebackers and strong safeties (2001-03) and all safeties (2005, 2007). He spent the 2006 season as the director of on-campus recruiting.
Among his pupils at Arkansas were Tony Bua, an NFL Draft fifth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins; Vickiel Vaughn, a seventh-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers; and Matt Hewitt, who signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills. In 2003, Vaughn directed a unit that helped Arkansas finish fifth in total defense and fourth in passing defense in the SEC. The Razorbacks also ranked third in pass efficiency defense.
As outside linebackers coach, Vaughn was instrumental in developing Bua into an All-SEC performer. Bua earned All-SEC honors from 2001-03 and ended his career as Arkansas' all-time tackles leader with 408 stops.
In 2001, Vaughn helped Arkansas' defense rank second in red zone defense and third in turnover margin in the SEC. The Razorbacks defense held opponents to scoring only 68.3 percent in the red zone and posted a plus-five turnover margin. Vaughn also helped coach a 2000 defensive unit which led the SEC and was 12th nationally in total defense, allowing only 292.1 yards per game.
Vaughn began his Arkansas career as a graduate assistant in 1999, working with the defense. He helped direct a swarming defense that limited Texas to minus-27 yards rushing in a 27-6 Razorbacks victory in the 2000 Cotton Bowl. Vaughn landed his first full-time coaching position less than a week after the Cotton Bowl win over Texas when he was named Tulsa's linebackers coach on Jan. 3, 2000. Vaughn's tenure at Tulsa, however, lasted fewer than six weeks. When a full-time slot opened on the Razorbacks staff, Nutt lured Vaughn back to Fayetteville on Feb. 17, 2000, in time to prepare for spring practice.
Vaughn earned four letters as a linebacker at Murray State. He was a member of Murray State teams that claimed back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) titles and made consecutive NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances in 1995 and 1996.
Vaughn earned All-OVC honors as a senior in 1997, totaling 103 tackles, six sacks and 10 TFL. He earned his bachelor's degree in advertising with a minor in art from Murray State in 1998.
A native of Tallahassee, Fla., Vaughn was an all-state linebacker, state wrestling runner-up and 4A state weightlifting champion at Godby High School.
He and his wife, Marquette, are the parents of Christopher Matthew Vaughn II, Cienna Marquette and Camryn McNeil.