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Rising number: College assistants jumping to coach in NFL

In the 2010 off-season, 14 college assitant coaches made the jump to the NFL.

Those coaches were Eric Yarber, Scottie Montgomery, Giff Smith, Bobby Johnson, Tommie Robinson, Jedd Fisch, Richard Hightower, Corwin Brown, Brian Schneider, Jeremy Bates, Ken Norton Jr, Kris Richard, Rocky Seto, and Dave Canales.

Montgomery made it to the Super Bowl with the Steelers. Fisch is now back in college as the Miami (FL) offensive coordinator after a year as the quarterbacks coach in Seattle under Pete Carroll. Bates and Brown, to our knowledge, are out of coaching for the moment. Seto almost landed the UCLA defensive coordinator job, but is still with the Seahawks.

In 2011, that number increased to 17 college assistant coaches that seized the opporutnity to coach in the NFL.

Those coaches were Grady Stretz (Arizona State to Tampa Bay), Warren Belin (Georgia to Carolina), John Settle (Wisconsin to Carolina), Teryl Austin (Florida to Baltimore), Scott Turner (Pitt to Carolina), Vic Fangio (Stanford to San Francisco), Tim Drevno (Stanford to San Francisco), Greg Roman (Stanford to San Francisco), Peter Hansen (Stanford to San Francisco), Mark Whipple (Miami to Cleveland), Chuck Bullough (UCLA to Cleveland), John Morton (USC to San Francisco), David Walker (Pitt to Indianapolis), Reggie Davis (Oregon State to San Francisco), Tyrone Pettaway (USC to Tampa Bay), Shawn Mennega (South Dakota State to Cleveland), and Tracy Rocker (Auburn to Tennessee Titans).

Rocker told The Tennessean, “After coaching 17 years of college ball I have aspirations as a coach, and it’s not just to sit there at my alma mater and just be there. At Auburn, I’d already had success as a player and then to come in and win the SEC and national championship in my second year, and to have Nick Fairley win the Lombardi Award … My wife kind of asked me, ‘What else do you think you need to do at Auburn?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know.’”

“All of a sudden, this thing happens with the Titans, so I guess that was the new calling. For me, it’s definitely a dream come true.”


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