Miami RedHawks legend Deland McCullough returning to college coaching

Deland McCullough
Deland McCullough

One son is current Miami player while another is an Ohio State recruit

A Miami University legend is going back to college and returning closer to home.

Deland McCullough has accepted the position of associate head coach and running backs coach at Indiana after three seasons coaching running backs in Kansas City, where he won a Super Bowl ring with the Chiefs in 2019.

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In a release from IU, the 48-year-old McCullough called the opportunity very special “for a host of reasons” and praised the job head coach Tom Allen has done in his four seasons at the helm.

“Coach Allen has done an amazing job of galvanizing and advancing the program’s culture, which has been displayed by success on the field,” McCullough said. “I welcome the challenges and glory of being a part of helping Indiana Football win championships. I have been fortunate to have won a championship on the ultimate stage in the NFL, and I know what it looks like and how it feels.”

A Youngstown native, McCullough graduated from Miami in 1996 as the all-time leading rusher not only for the RedHawks but the MAC, and he is still No. 2 on the RedHawks all-time list.

He spent time with the Bengals and Eagles and in the CFL and original XFL before going into coaching.

“I could not be happier to welcome Deland, his wife Darnell, and the McCullough family back home to Bloomington,” Allen said in a release. “Deland’s a first-class person that has gone on to do great things in the NFL. He has won a Super Bowl, worked with a Hall of Fame coach and helped develop some of the most dynamic players and offenses in football. I cannot wait to bring his winning mindset to our program.”

McCullough was the head football coach and administrator at Harmony Community High School in Cincinnati before returning to the college ranks as an intern at Miami in 2010.

After a year in Oxford, he spent five seasons coaching running backs at Indiana, where he mentored 1,000-yard rusher Tevin Coleman, Jordan Howard and Devine Redding.

McCullough then spent a year at USC before moving to the professional ranks with the Chiefs in 2018.

“I believe that Indiana University is primed to not only chase but to capture championships in football, and I can’t wait to contribute,” McCullough said.

His oldest son, Deland McCullough II, is heading into his third year as a member of the RedHawks football team and his second son, Dasan, is a four-star recruit in the class of 2022.

A four-star linebacker, Dasan McCullough has verbally committed to Ohio State but can’t sign a binding letter of intent until December.

He is the No. 54 player in the country per 247Sports Composite rankings and was the No. 1 player in Kansas, but he will be moving along with his father and the rest of his family.

“We’re all pretty excited about going back to Indiana,” Dasan McCullough told 247Sports in an interview Monday. “We’ll be moving back to Indiana and I’ll be going to Bloomington South. It doesn’t change my commitment to Ohio State at all. I’m still 100-percent Ohio State. That’s my dad’s job. Who knows? In two years or four years he could be someplace else.”

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Indiana is coming off its best season in decades.

The Hoosiers went 6-2 and finished No. 12 in the final Associated Press poll, their highest since 1967.

The last time Indiana was ranked to end the year was 1988 when they were No. 20.