Buccaneers Name Byron Leftwich Offensive Coordinator
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today the hiring of Byron Leftwich as the team’s offensive coordinator, along with 17 additional assistants, to the coaching staff. The team previously announced Keith Armstrong as special teams coordinator, Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator, and Harold Goodwin as assistant head coach/run game coordinator.
The following were added to the coaching staff:
Tim Atkins, Defensive Quality Control
Chris Boniol, Specialists
Mike Caldwell, Inside Linebackers
Mike Chiurco, Assistant to the Head Coach
Clyde Christensen, Quarterbacks
Rick Christophel, Tight Ends
Larry Foote, Outside Linebackers
Kevin Garver, Wide Receivers
Joe Gilbert, Offensive Line
Cody Grimm, Defensive/Special Teams Assistant
Amos Jones, Assistant Special Teams
Todd McNair, Running Backs
Antwaan Randle El, Offensive Assistant
Nick Rapone, Safeties
Kacy Rodgers, Defensive Line
Kevin Ross, Cornerbacks
John Van Dam, Offensive Quality Control
Leftwich played quarterback for 10 seasons in the NFL, spending time with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-06), Atlanta Falcons (2007), Pittsburgh Steelers (2008, 2010-12) and Buccaneers (2009). He started 50-of-60 career games, completing 930-of-1,605 passes (57.9 pct.) for 10,532 yards, with 58 touchdowns and 42 interceptions. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers following the team’s victory in Super Bowl XLIII.
In 2016, Leftwich began his coaching career, working as an intern coach with the Arizona Cardinals, before being hired as the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2017. The 2017 season saw Arizona become the first team to have three different quarterbacks (Carson Palmer, Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton) win multiple starts since 2007. In 2018, Leftwich added the responsibility of offensive coordinator to his duties during the season.
A first-round pick (seventh overall) of the Jaguars in 2003, Leftwich spent four seasons with Jacksonville, including helping the team earn an AFC Wild Card berth in 2005. Leftwich, who played collegiately at Marshall, set Mid-American Conference records for passing yards and total offense during his collegiate career, while twice being named MAC Offensive Player of the Year (2001-02). He finished sixth in voting for the Heisman as a senior in 2002 and was inducted into the Marshall Hall of Fame in 2007.
Christensen has spent the past 23 seasons in the NFL with the Buccaneers (1996-2001), Indianapolis Colts (2002-15) and Miami Dolphins (2016-18). His first NFL coaching experience came with Tampa Bay, serving as the team’s tight ends coach (1996-98), before becoming the quarterbacks coach (1999-2000). In 2001, Christensen worked as the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator, helping wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson set a franchise record with 106 receptions.
Following his first stint with Tampa Bay, Christensen spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, helping the team win Super Bowl XLI. He first worked as the wide receivers coach (2002-07) before adding assistant head coach (2008-09) to his title. During his time coaching the receivers, Christensen tutored Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison and perennial Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne, who rank first and second in nearly every receiving category in Colts history. During that time, Harrison was a two-time first-team AP All-Pro and earned five Pro Bowl berths, while Wayne earned four Pro Bowl berths and a first-team AP All-Pro selection. Wayne also earned Pro Bowl berths in 2009 and 2010, when Christensen was the Colts’ offensive coordinator.
Christensen spent two seasons as the Colts’ offensive coordinator (2010-11), working with quarterback Peyton Manning in 2010, who set then-career-highs and then-single season franchise records for completions (450), attempts (679) and yards (4,700).
Christensen took over as quarterbacks coach for his final four seasons with the Colts (2012-15), coaching Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Luck set NFL rookie records in passing yards (4,374) and 300-yard passing games (six), while breaking the league record for single-game passing yards by a rookie (433, 11/4 vs. Miami). In 2014, Luck set the single-season franchise record for passing yards (4,761) and led the NFL in passing touchdowns, with 40, earning his third consecutive Pro Bowl selection and helping lead the Colts to the AFC Championship Game.
Christensen spent 17 years as a college coach before entering the NFL, working at Clemson (1994-95), Maryland (1992-93), South Carolina (1991), Holy Cross (1989-90), East Carolina (1986-88), Temple (1983-95), East Tennessee State (1980-82) and Mississippi (1979).
A native of Covina, Calif., Christensen played at Fresno City Junior College before finishing his collegiate career at North Carolina (1977-78).
Christophel worked most recently with the Arizona Cardinals (2013-17), serving as the team’s tight ends coach. In 2017, Christophel helped develop rookie free agent Ricky Seals-Jones – a converted college wide receiver – who caught three touchdown passes, tied for the eighth-most among all rookies. The tight ends group combined for six touchdown receptions and 567 yards in 2015, when the Cardinals posted the No. 1 offense and No. 2 scoring offense in the NFL.
Before joining Arizona, Christophel spent six seasons as the head coach at Austin Peay (2007-12). In his first year, he led the team to seven wins, the most the school had recorded since 1984 and the most by a first-year head coach since 1979.
Prior to being named head coach at Austin Peay, Christophel totaled more than 25 years as an assistant coach at the collegiate level. He spent 12 seasons at Alabama-Birmingham (1995-2006), serving in a variety of roles. He also coached at Mississippi State (1991-94), where he worked alongside Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians, who was the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator from 1993-94.
Christophel began his coaching career at his alma mater, Austin Peay, working as a graduate assistant in 1975, following four years as a starter on the team. After spending three seasons (1976-78) coaching at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kent., he returned to Austin Peay for three seasons (1979-81), before moving on to Southern Arkansas State (1982), Cincinnati (1983), Rice (1984-85) and Vanderbilt (1986-90).
Garver spent the past six seasons (2013-18) with the Arizona Cardinals, first working as an offensive assistant (2013-16), before being elevated to assistant wide receivers coach (2017), then wide receivers coach (2018). While with the Cardinals, Garver worked with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who made four Pro Bowls (2013, 2015-17) during that span and ranked fourth in receptions (539), ninth in receiving yards (5,866) and tied for the 12th-most touchdown catches (39) in that time. Fitzgerald set a franchise record for receptions in 2015, with 109, a mark he matched in 2017. He also led the NFL in receptions in 2016, with 107.
In addition to his work with Fitzgerald, Garver helped develop young receivers with the Cardinals. In 2018, Garver worked with rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk, Arizona’s second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Kirk recorded the third-most receiving yards per game among rookies (49.2). Garver also assisted in the development of former Cardinals receiver John Brown who, in 2015, recorded a 1,000-yard receiving season.
Prior to joining Arizona, Garver spent six seasons working at Alabama (2007-12) under Head Coach Nick Saban. While working with the Crimson Tide, Garver was part of a staff that won three national championships in four years (2009, 2011-12).
Gilbert coached the offensive line last season at the University of Arizona, where his unit helped the Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in rushing, while allowing the fourth-fewest sacks in the conference.
Prior to his time in Tucson, Gilbert was a member of the Indianapolis Colts’ coaching staff for six seasons (2012-17). He was the offensive line coach for three consecutive 11-win seasons (2012-14), during which the Colts ranked eighth in the NFL in points scored and 10th in total offense over that span.
In 2014, despite being forced to use 11 different offensive line starting lineup combinations, Gilbert’s unit helped the Colts set franchise records in net yards (6,506) and net passing yards (4,894), while scoring the second-most points (458) in team history.
Before joining the professional ranks, Gilbert spent the previous 25 seasons on the collegiate level, including stops at Albany (1987-88), Pennsylvania (1989-90), Northeastern (1991-93), Maine (1994-99), Mansfield University of Pennsylvania (2000), Toledo (2001-03, 2007), UCF (2004-06), Houston (2008) and Illinois (2009-11). Over that time, he was instrumental in the development of future NFL players such as Nick Kaczur (Toledo), Patrick Brown (UCF), Josh Sitton (UCF), Sebastian Vollmer (Houston), Jon Asamoah (Illinois), and Jeff Allen (Illinois).
A native of Horseheads, N.Y., Gilbert went on to have an All-American playing career at Hamilton (N.Y.) College.
McNair, a former NFL running back and assistant coach, served as running backs coach at the University of Southern California for six seasons (2004-09), while also serving as USC’s special teams coordinator for four years (2005-08). Under McNair, Trojans running backs amassed more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage six times and, in 2005, became the first unit in school history to see a pair of runners eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in a season (Reggie Bush and LenDale White). That year, with USC running backs averaging a national-best 6.4 yards per carry, Bush won the Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award, was a unanimous All-American, and was voted the Associated Press Player of the Year, the Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year.
Prior to his time at USC, McNair spent three seasons (2001-03) coaching running backs for the Cleveland Browns. McNair began his coaching career as the offensive coordinator at Camden (N.J.) High School from 1998-99 before handling similar duties at Schalick High School in Pittsgrove, N.J., in 2000.
McNair played eight years in the NFL as a running back and special teams standout, first with the Kansas City Chiefs (1989-93), followed by two seasons with the Houston Oilers (1994-95) before returning to Kansas City in 1996. In his NFL career, McNair rushed for 803 yards with three touchdowns and caught 254 passes for 2,435 yards and seven touchdowns.
McNair lettered four years (1985-88) as a running back at Temple, where he was a 1987 All-American honorable mention selection. He completed his college career third on the school’s all-time rushing list with 2,383 yards and 16 TDs.
Randle El enjoyed a nine-year NFL playing career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2002-05, 2010) and Washington Redskins (2006-2009) as a wide receiver and kick returner. Known for his versatility, Randle El amassed 4,467 receiving yards and 438 rushing yards from scrimmage, while adding 4,316 yards and six touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns. Randle El also holds the NFL’s highest all-time passer rating for any player with more than 10 attempts as he completed 22-of-27 career passes for 323 yards and six touchdowns for a 156.1 rating.
That passing prowess was on full display in Super Bowl XL when Randle El connected with Hines Ward on a 43-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave the Steelers a 21-10 lead and the game’s final score.
Randle El entered the NFL as a second-round pick following a historic career as a quarterback at Indiana. He was the 2001 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, capping a career that saw him set the NCAA’s all-time Division I-A rushing record for a quarterback, become the first player in Division I-A history to account for 7,000 passing yards and 3,500 rushing yards, as well as the first player with 40 passing touchdowns and 40 rushing touchdowns, and finish with the fifth-most total yards in NCAA Division I-A history. The Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year Award is named in his honor.
A native of Riverdale, Ill., Randle El was a three-sport star at Thornton High School. He was a 14th-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1997, but opted to attend Indiana on a football scholarship. At different points in his college career, Randle El was also a member of the Hoosiers’ basketball and baseball teams.
Van Dam comes to Tampa Bay from Lafayette (Pa.) College, where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season. Prior to that, Van Dam was the offensive coordinator for Southern Illinois for two seasons (2016-17). In 2016, the Salukis led the Missouri Valley Conference in total offense (470.2 yards per game), ranked second in points per game (30.9), and set a school record and led the Missouri Valley Conference in passing yards in a season with 3,660.
Before arriving at Southern Illinois, Van Dam served as offensive quality control assistant and assistant quarterbacks coach at the University of Florida in 2015 and served in a similar role at the University of Michigan in 2014. That followed two seasons at the University of Alabama, where he was an offensive graduate assistant, primarily working with wide receivers and running the offensive and special teams scout teams. During his time with the Crimson Tide, the program won the SEC title in 2012 and the 2013 BCS National Championship. Van Dam was also a graduate assistant and tight ends coach at Augustana (Ill.) College in 2008 and 2009 before being promoted to passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2010 and 2011.
A native of East Lansing, Mich., Van Dam played quarterback at Michigan State, where he earned Academic All-Big 10 honors from 2006-08.
Atkins follows new Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles to Tampa Bay, who he worked under for the past three seasons as defensive quality control coach for the New York Jets. Prior to his time with the Jets, Atkins charted games for the Cleveland Browns for two seasons (2014-15) and served as a Buffalo Bills defensive assistant from 2012-13. That followed a one-season stint with the UFL’s Florida Tuskers (2010). Atkins broke into the NFL as a defensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins from 2006-08 before becoming a defensive graduate assistant at Florida Atlantic University (2008-10). He also coached on the collegiate level for Whittier College as wide receivers coach (2005) and safeties coach (2004).
Caldwell joins Tampa Bay after having spent the past four seasons working as the assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach with the New York Jets under current Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles, then the Jets’ head coach. During Caldwell’s time with the Jets, the team posted one of the best run defenses in the NFL, holding teams to just 4.00 yards per carry, the sixth-lowest figure in the NFL during that span. In Caldwell’s first season with the Jets, his unit was part of a defense that set a franchise record with just 83.4 rushing yards allowed per game.
Under Caldwell’s guidance, Jets linebackers excelled, posting some of the best statistical seasons of their careers. In 2018, Avery Williamson – a free agent addition to the Jets – led the team in tackles, posting a career-high 120, while chipping in 3.0 sacks to go along with career bests in passes defensed (six) and forced fumbles (two). The 2017 season saw Demario Davis post a career-best 135 tackles, while establishing a then-career high with 5.0 sacks.
Before his time with the Jets, Caldwell spent two seasons coaching linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals (2013-14). The Cardinals’ 2013 unit led the NFL in run defense (84.4 yards allowed per game) while posting the sixth-best overall defense.
Caldwell began his coaching career with the Philadelphia Eagles, working first as a training camp intern (2007) before spending two seasons as a defensive quality control coach (2008-09). He then spent the 2010 season as the Eagles’ assistant linebackers coach before being elevated to linebackers coach, a position he held for two seasons (2011-12).
An 11-year NFL veteran, Caldwell played with the Cleveland Browns (1993-95), Baltimore Ravens (1996), Arizona Cardinals (1997), Philadelphia Eagles (1998-2001), Chicago Bears (2002) and Carolina Panthers (2003).
Foote spent the past four seasons coaching with the Arizona Cardinals (2015-18), first working as the team’s inside linebackers coach (2015-17) before being elevated to linebackers coach in 2018. Foote helped oversee the conversion of Deone Bucannon from a college safety to a linebacker, with Bucannon leading the team in tackles in 2015, while adding three sacks and three forced fumbles. The Cardinals defense finished in the top 10 of the NFL in yards allowed for three straight seasons (2015-17) while Foote was a part of the staff.
Before beginning his coaching career, Foote spent 13 years playing in the NFL (2002-14), including 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2002-08, 2010-13). During his time with the Steelers, Foote was a part of two Super Bowl Championships (XL, XLIII). Foote spent his first seven seasons in Pittsburgh, before playing for his hometown Detroit Lions for one season (2009). He then returned to the Steelers for four seasons before finishing his career with the Cardinals in 2014. In his 13 seasons, Foote played in 187 games, with 912 tackles, 25 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and four interceptions. He also played in 17 postseason games.
A Detroit native, Foote played collegiately at Michigan, earning All-American honors as a senior.
Grimm, a former Buccaneers safety, returns to Tampa Bay in a new capacity following four years on the coaching staff at his alma mater, Virginia Tech. In 2017, serving as quality control/defense coach, Grimm tutored a defense led by linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who earned third-team AP All-America honors, and third-team All-ACC safety Terrell Edmunds, who helped guide the Hokies to a 9-4 mark. In 2018, the duo became the first brothers to be selected in the first round of the same NFL draft.
Grimm lettered four years (2006-09) as a linebacker at Virginia Tech, where he joined the team as a walk-on. As a senior, Grimm led the nation with seven forced fumbles and amassed 106 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, earning first-team All-ACC and third-team AP All-America honors.
Grimm was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers, where he played three seasons at safety. In his career, Grimm appeared in 23 games with 12 starts, totaling 62 tackles, three passes defensed, two interceptions and one interception-returned-for-a-touchdown.
Rapone was the defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-17. While in Arizona, Rapone worked with cornerback Patrick Peterson, a five-time Pro Bowl choice and a two-time first-team AP All-Pro selection (2013, 2015). Rapone also coached safety Tyrann Mathieu, who earned Pro Bowl and first-team AP All-Pro distinction in 2015.
During Rapone’s time with Arizona, the team’s pass defense was among the best in the NFL, holding opponents to a 61.0 completion percentage, the ninth-lowest mark in the league, and an 83.2 passer rating, the sixth-lowest in the NFL. The Cardinals were also one of the best teams in the NFL at intercepting passes, with the team’s 86 interceptions ranking third during that span and their 14 interceptions returned for touchdowns tying for the league best.
Prior to joining the Cardinals, Rapone spent over 30 years as an assistant coach at the collegiate level. From 2006-12, he worked as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Delaware, earning the 2010 FootballScoop NCAA Division I FCS Coordinator of the Year after the Blue Hens led the FCS in scoring defense and ranking fifth in total defense.
A native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, Rapone played collegiately at Virginia Tech (1974-77). While with the Hokies, he played with Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians in 1974, when Rapone was a freshman and Arians was a senior. Arians then worked as a graduate assistant (1975-76) and running backs coach (1977) while Rapone played.
Rapone began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh (1979-80), before going on to East Tennessee State (1981-82). Rapone reunited with Arians at Temple, coaching the Owls’ secondary for six seasons (1983-88), while also serving as the team’s defensive coordinator (1985-88). Following his time under Arians at Temple, Rapone returned to Pittsburgh (1989-92), then spent two seasons at New Castle (Pa.) High School (1993-94), before four seasons at Connecticut (1995-98). Rapone returned to Temple for a second stint in 1999, working as the school’s secondary coach until his tenure at Delaware.
Rodgers has spent the past four seasons serving as the defensive coordinator of the New York Jets (2015-18), working under Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles, then the Jets’ head coach. The Jets defense under Rodgers and Bowles posted one of the best run defenses in the NFL, holding teams to just 4.00 yards per carry, the sixth-lowest figure in the NFL during that span, and allowing only 44 rushing touchdowns, tied for the eighth-least in that timeframe. Rodgers helped defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson earn a Pro Bowl berth in 2015, after posting a career-high 12.0 sacks, and helped defensive lineman Leonard Williams – the team’s 2015 first-round pick – earn a Pro Bowl berth in 2016. Under Rodgers, Williams posted the fifth-most quarterbacks hits of any interior defensive lineman (64) from 2015-18.
Prior to his time with the Jets, Rodgers spent seven seasons coaching the defensive line in Miami (2008-14). During his time with the Dolphins, the team posted 287 sacks, the third-highest mark in the NFL, while allowing the eighth-fewest yards per carry (4.02) during that span. Rodgers helped guide defensive tackle Paul Soliai (2012), defensive tackle Randy Starks (2010, 2012) and defensive end Cameron Wake (2010, 2012-14) to Pro Bowl selections. Wake, who also earned three AP All-Pro selections under Rodgers (first team, 2012; second team, 2010 and 2014), ranked third in the NFL in sacks from 2009-14, with 63.0.
Rodgers began his NFL coaching career with the Dallas Cowboys, first working as the team’s defensive tackles coach (2003-04) before taking over as the defensive line coach (2005-07). Prior to his time in the NFL, Rodgers coached collegiately, first working at Tennessee-Martin (1994-97) before going to Louisiana-Monroe (1998), Middle Tennessee State (1999-2001) and Arkansas (2002).
A native of Humboldt, Tennessee, Rodgers played collegiately at Tennessee. He spent training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992 and played for the Shreveport Pirates of the Canadian Football League in 1994 before retiring.
Ross worked most recently with the Arizona Cardinals (2013-17), serving as the team’s cornerbacks coach. During his tenure with the Cardinals, Ross worked with All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson, who earned a Pro Bowl berth in all five years under Ross, as well as two first-team AP All-Pro selections (2013, 2015). Ross also coached cornerback Antonio Cromartie to a Pro Bowl berth in 2014.
During Ross’ time with Arizona, the team’s pass defense was among the best in the NFL, holding opponents to a 61.0 completion percentage, the ninth-lowest mark in the league, and an 83.2 passer rating, the sixth-lowest in the NFL. The Cardinals were also one of the best teams in the NFL at intercepting passes, with the team’s 86 interceptions ranking third during that span and their 14 interceptions returned for touchdowns tying for the league best.
Prior to joining Arizona, Ross coached safeties with the Oakland Raiders (2010-11), with safety Tyvon Branch leading the team in tackles both seasons. His time with Oakland followed one season as an assistant for the New York Sentinels of the United Football League (2009). From 2007-08, Ross was an assistant secondary/quality control coach with the San Diego Chargers. In 2007, San Diego led the NFL in interceptions for the first time in franchise history.
Ross began his NFL coaching career with the Minnesota Vikings in 2002 as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship. From 2003-05, he worked as the Vikings’ assistant secondary coach.
A 14-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl selection, Ross was a seventh-round (173rd overall) selection of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1984 NFL Draft. He spent 11 seasons with Kansas City (1984-93, 1997), along with two seasons in Atlanta (1994-95) and one in San Diego (1996). He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2011.
After his playing career concluded, Ross coached high school football at Camden High School (1999-2000) and Woodrow Wilson High (2001-02) in his native Camden, N.J. A standout at Paulsboro High School (Paulsboro, N.J.), Ross went on to play collegiately at Temple.
Boniol most recently served as a senior special teams advisor at Mississippi State, where he had worked since 2016. In 2017, Bulldogs kicker Jace Christmann was named Freshman All-American by the FWAA and to the SEC All-Freshman Team by the league’s coaches. Prior to his time in Starkville, Boniol spent one season as Louisiana College’s special teams coordinator and running backs coach.
A former Dallas Cowboys kicker, Boniol began his NFL coaching career with the club in 2010 as the assistant special teams/kickers coach. That season, punter Mat McBriar led the NFL in gross (47.9) and net (41.7) punting average. In 2011, Boniol tutored rookie kicker Dan Bailey, who established an NFL-rookie record by connecting on 26 consecutive field goal attempts. For the season, Bailey converted 32-of-37 (86.5%) of his tries. Bailey continued to flourish under Boniol’s guidance, hitting on 29-of-31 (93.5%) attempts in 2012, and 28-of-30 (93.3%) in 2013. During their three seasons together, Bailey’s 90.8 success rate and 89 field goals made both ranked third in the NFL.
In 2014, Boniol moved to Oakland where he was the assistant special teams coach. That season, punter Marquette King tied for fourth in the NFL with 31 punts inside the 20, while kicker Sebastian Janikowski connected on 86.4 percent of his field goal attempts.
A native of Alexandria, La., Boniol attended Louisiana Tech before embarking on a six-year NFL playing career. In 1995, he made 27-of-28 field goal attempts, leading the league in field goal accuracy for the Super Bowl Champion Cowboys.
Jones has 38 years of coaching experience on the high school, college and professional levels, including the last 12 in the NFL. He spent the 2018 season as the Cleveland Browns’ special teams coordinator after five seasons (2013-2017) in the same capacity for the Arizona Cardinals, where he worked under Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians. Over those five years, Jones helped two players, Justin Bethel (2013-15) and Budda Baker (2017), earn four of the 10 possible Pro Bowl spots awarded to special teamers. His 2014 kickoff coverage unit ranked fourth in the league with an opponent average drive start following kickoffs of the 20-yard line. In both 2012 (Drew Butler, 34) and 2013 (Dave Zastudil, 35), Cardinals punters tied for the league lead in punts inside the 20.
Prior to his time in Arizona, Jones spent six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, first as assistant special teams coach (2007-11) before being promoted to special teams coach in 2012. In 2011, he helped Antonio Brown reach his first career Pro Bowl, as a kick returner, contributing to the club’s Super Bowl XLIII Championship. Two seasons earlier, the Steelers led the NFL in kickoff return yards, while Stefan Logan set a franchise record in that category.
Before entering the NFL ranks, Jones spent time at Mississippi State (2004-06), James Madison (2003), Cincinnati (1999-02), British Columbia of the Canadian Football League, Tulane (1995-96), Pittsburgh (1992), Alabama (1990-91, 1981-82) and Temple (1983-88).
Jones, a native of Aliceville, Ala., was a safety and running back at Alabama (1978-80), where he played under legendary head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, winning back-to-back national championships in 1978-79.
Chiurco spent 2018 working as the head coach at Seton Catholic High School (Chandler, Ariz.), following five seasons working for the Arizona Cardinals under Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians. Chiurco spent his first two seasons with Arizona as the assistant to the head coach (2013-14), before moving to defensive assistant/assistant defensive backs coach (2015-17).
Prior to his time with the Cardinals, Chiurco was a long-time high school football coach (1992-99, 2003-11) and also served four seasons as a college scout for the for the Indianapolis Colts for four years (1999-2003).