(STATS) - If John Garrett can enjoy head coaching success that's similar to his younger brother Jason, then Lafayette's struggling program will turn around.
The Patriot League school hired Garrett as its new head coach Wednesday. The 51-year-old, who is one year older than his more famous coaching brother from the Dallas Cowboys, has a long background as an assistant on the college and NFL levels, but the Leopards' position is his first as a head coach.
Garrett served as the University of Richmond's offensive coordinator this season.
"The number one thing that we need to do is get the team to believe they can win," Garrett said at his introductory news conference.
A 1988 Princeton graduate, Garrett was a finalist at his alma mater when the head coaching position was open after the 1999 season. His experience with athletics and high academics is a natural fit at Lafayette.
He replaces Frank Tavani, who was fired last month after his 17th season. The Leopards won four Patriot League titles under Tavani but have had seven straight losing seasons, although the 2013 squad won a league title despite finishing 5-7. They were 2-9 this year.
"Forget about the past. That doesn't define you," Garrett said. "Let's worry about today. Do the best job you can today."
Garrett's coaching background also includes stints with the Cincinnati Bengals (1995-98, 2001-02), Arizona Cardinals (1999-2000), Cowboys (2007-12) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013) as well as Virginia (2004-07) and Oregon State (2014), and he spent the 2015 season at Florida as a quality control special for the offense. In addition, he was a pro personnel assistant with the Buccaneers (1992-94) and a scout with the Bengals (2003).
His other brother Judd is an assistant coach with the Cowboys. Their father John also was an NFL assistant and was the head coach at Columbia.