Jets hire Brian VanGorder as LB coach
Brian VanGorder is coming off a single season as a defensive coordinator at Auburn. Brian VanGorder became the causality of a clean house-sweep in Auburn after head coach Gene Chizik was fired at the end of a dismal 3-9 season. The Auburn defense ranked 79th nationally last season. The defense’s struggles were highlighted during a 63-21 loss to Texas A&M last season, in which Auburn gave up a 671 yards, most yards ever allowed by a school, and also featured most points allowed since 1917.
Before that Brian VanGorder was in Atlanta, coaching the Falcons linebackers for a single season (2007) before being promoted to defensive coordinator. Brian VanGorder also has a combined six-year NFL experience, including a single season as the Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach.
Brian VanGorder takes over from former New York Jets linebackers coach Bob Sutton, who left for a defensive coordinator job with the Kansas City chiefs at the end of the 2012 season.
Brian VanGorder’s addition brings an end to the hirings at key positions on the New York Jets coaching staff. The fifth-year New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan over saw major changes to his coaching staff following the firing of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, as well as the departure of Bob Sutton and Mike Pettine. The former New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine left for the same job with the Buffalo Bills.
Subsequently, Rex Ryan hired Marty Mornhinweg as the New York Jets offensive coordinator (who occupied the same job for seven seasons in Philadelphia), and promoted former Jets defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman to defensive coordinator. Other new additions to the coaching staff include David Lee (quarterbacks), Steve Hagen (tight ends), Tim McDonald (secondary), as well as assistants Ron Heller (offensive line), Louie Aguiar (special teams), and Jeff Weeks (defensive line/linebackers). This will be Jeff Week’s second coaching stint under Rex Ryan.
The New York Jets also announced the hiring of Bobby April III as quality control with the defense. Bobby April III occupied the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles last season (2011-2012). His father, Bobby April Jr. is a renowned, longtime special teams coach who will run the Oakland Raiders’ units next season.