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|02-07-2013, 05:57 PM||#1|
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Long Island, NY
Jets add more coaches: QA & LB
JETS ANNOUNCE COACHING ADDITIONS
February 7, 2013 – The New York Jets announced the hiring of Quality Control – Defense Bobby April III and Linebackers Coach Brian VanGorder.
VanGorder (Wayne State/Jackson, MI) joins the Jets after serving as defensive coordinator for Auburn (2012). VanGorder spent the previous four seasons as the defensive coordinator for Atlanta (2008-11) after initially joining the Falcons as their linebackers coach (2007). From 2008-11, the Falcons ranked in seventh in points allowed (20.1), finishing each season with a winning record. Before Atlanta, VanGorder coached for Georgia Southern (2006), the Jacksonville Jaguars (2005), Georgia (2001-04), Western Illinois (2000), Central Michigan (1998-99), Central Florida (1995-97), Wayne State (1992-94) and Grand Valley State (1989-91).
April III (Louisiana-Lafayette/Mandeville, LA) spent the past two seasons as quality control – defense for Philadelphia. Prior to joining the Eagles, April spent one season at Nicholls State (2010) as the special teams coordinator/safeties coach after three seasons at Portland State as the special teams coordinator/inside linebackers coach (2007-09), where he was believed to be the youngest coordinator in college football (age 25). He entered the coaching ranks two years earlier as a graduate assistant at Tulane.
Current New York Jets Coaching Staff:
Rex Ryan (head coach), Ben Kotwica (special teams coordinator), Marty Mornhinweg (offensive coordinator), Dennis Thurman (defensive coordinator), Louie Aguiar (assistant special teams), Bobby April III (quality control – defense), Mike Devlin (offensive line), Karl Dunbar (defensive line), Justus Galac (head strength and conditioning), Steve Hagen (tight ends), Ron Heller (assistant offensive line), Sanjay Lal (wide receivers), David Lee (quarterbacks), Anthony Lynn (running backs), Tim McDonald (defensive backs), Pierre Ngo (assistant strength and conditioning), Paul Ricci (assistant strength and conditioning), Brian Smith (assistant defensive backs), Tony Sparano, Jr. (offensive intern), Brian VanGorder (linebackers), Jeff Weeks (defensive assistant – defensive line/linebackers)
|02-07-2013, 06:13 PM||#2|
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Join Date: Sep 2003
An April Father's Day Story
Posted Jun 18, 2011
By Bo Wulf
Bobby April dreamed of one day coaching on the same staff as his son Bobby, but he never thought it would happen so quickly. Find out how the father-son duo found themselves working, and living, under the same roof ...
The Eagles' new defensive quality control coach is sitting in the office of the team's special teams coordinator. Nothing unusual in that - except that they both happened to be named Bobby April.
The older of the two is one of the most acclaimed special teams coaches in the NFL. The younger one, Bobby III, is entering his first season in the league after four seasons as a special teams coordinator on the college level. April III was added to the Eagles' coaching staff earlier this offseason, without the knowledge or prompting of his father.
Growing up around football certainly helped April III, 29, become a quick riser through the coaching ranks, but so did his his inability to crunch numbers.
"I started out as a finance major and that's what I was going to do," said April III of his freshman year at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
"But I couldn't pass accounting. I mean, I just couldn't pass it. I took accounting four times and I couldn't pass it."
In the midst of that struggle, April III, 19 at the time, scratched his post-high school football itch by helping out a local high school football team.
"I wasn't playing and I had always played, so it gave me an opportunity to be around football for a while," April III said. "I really enjoyed what I was doing with (coach Lewis Cook), so when (the summer) came around the following year, I started going to some camps - some NFL camps. Then, I dropped accounting, dropped all the finance, went to sports management and from there it was like football, football, football."
It was all systems go on the football front and, given his upbringing, who could blame him? April III, of course, is the son and namesake of the aforementioned April, who is entering his second season as special teams coordinator for the Eagles. The oldest of five children, April III and his father had a special bond growing up as the only males in a house of seven, outnumbered by April's wife Charlene and the couple's four daughters.
While the elder April's rise through the coaching ranks took the family from Arizona (1980-86) to Southern California (1987-90) to Ohio State (1991) to Atlanta (1991-93) to Pittsburgh (1994-95) to New Orleans (1996-99) to St. Louis (2001-03) to Buffalo (2004-09), April III had the fortune to spend his childhood around the game he loved.
"I think just being around a bunch of the guys during the offseason and in season, seeing how they interacted with each other," said April III, "Maybe it was because I didn't have a brother. That was my version of having a brother - having a football team. Maybe psychologically that kind of pushed me in that direction. And I loved football."
But while the young April III loved being in the locker room, it was his time in meeting rooms that may have made the lasting impact. April III's formative years were spent listening to respected coaches like Dom Capers, Jerry Glanville, Dick LeBeau and Jim Haslett (not to mention his father) impart football lessons.
Still, to the credit of father April, there was no forced shepherding of his son into the family business. In fact, a chance encounter with another famous football father while his son was still a toddler helped form April's paternal approach.
"I was on a recruiting trip (for the University of Arizona) … and I happened to have the opportunity to sit down with Jack Elway," said April.
At the time, Elway was the head football coach at San Jose State, while his son John, the eventual Hall of Fame quarterback, was finishing up his collegiate career at Stanford. When April asked Elway about coaching his son, Elway said he focused on being his dad, not his coach.
"I kind of tried to follow that as much as I could," Said April.
But while the Aprils gave young Bobby encouragement to pursue whatever he wanted, the elder April had an early premonition.
"I told my wife a long time ago, when he was a little kid, I said, ‘I hope he goes into coaching and one day we can work together,'" said April.
The road that would eventually converge with his father's at the NovaCare Complex continued for April III at Louisiana-Lafayette where he worked for the football team as a student assistant. From there, it was on to Tulane, where he was a graduate assistant for two seasons. Then, in 2007, April III became the youngest coordinator in Division I football when he took a job as special teams coordinator/inside linebackers coach for Portland State, where he worked under Glanville. The coach who gave April III his first full-time coaching gig was the same man who first hired April in the NFL.
Four years later, after a year at Nicholls State, another of his father's bosses would come calling.
A Dream Come True
It had been a long day. Fresh off the grind of national signing day and the intense recruiting season, April III spent Saturday, February 5, in Louisiana at a funeral for his fiancée Laura's grandfather. Drained from the emotions of the day, April III lay down to take a nap. He heard his cell phone ring several times, but he couldn't be bothered to answer.
Then Laura's phone rang. It was Charlene April, Bobby's mother.
"Hey, tell Bobby to answer the phone," said the voice on the other line.
So Bobby checked his phone, confused as to why Andy Reid had been trying to call him at 9 o'clock on a Saturday night. April III first met Reid in the spring of 2010 when he helped out during the Eagles' Organized Team Activities and mini-camps.
Minutes later, Reid called back.
"I had no clue," says April III of the conversation. "We started talking and he says, ‘Hey, I have an opening and I'd like you to fill it.' My jaw drops. I'm kind of stunned. I'm at my fiancée's family's house and they're looking at me like I'm crazy. I look like I just saw a ghost, my face turns completely white."
Of course, April III knew he wanted to take the job. Not only was this his opening into the NFL, but he would have an opportunity to work in the same organization as his father. But he asked Reid if he could have some time to tell his boss at Nicholls State and get everything in order. Reid told him that was fine and to let him know within a couple days.
Then Reid called back.
"Actually, can you let me know in about 20 minutes?" Reid said to April III.
"Alright," said April III, as his mind was spinning. "I call my parents and say, ‘Hey, Coach Reid just called. He offered me a job. I'm going to take it. I have to go.' It was a two-second conversation."
After breaking the news to Charlie Stubbs, head coach at Nicholls State, April III got back on the phone with Reid to let him know he would gladly become a part of what was to be a new-look defensive coaching staff.
For his part, the elder April, who was already employed by the Eagles, had no idea what Reid had cooked up.
"I was in the office that day and Coach Reid was in the office but he didn't say anything to me," April said. "I think when Bobby came up (last spring), Coach Reid took a liking to him … Then he told me later, ‘I'm going to hire him one day. I like him, I like the way he coaches.' But I didn't realize it was going to come this fast …. I didn't even know it was a possibility.
"It was a dream come true."
And no one was happier about the development than Charlene.
"She was more than excited," said April. "She knows how I feel about this organization. I just think it's fantastic in every way, shape and form. That he could come into this environment, this learning environment, this work ethic environment. To be with a head coach that has not only the skill but the character, the courtesy, the humility, is really good for him as a young guy to want to emulate some day. So she knew all that. And she also loves Philadelphia, she loves the city. So she knew this would be a good place for him to live as well. Just for every reason possible, she was ecstatic."
"We had started talking about it when I was at Tulane," said April III. "I didn't think it would ever happen, truthfully. I just know how the business is.
Everything has to marry up exactly for it to work.
"Me getting to the NFL, that's what I didn't think would happen. (My dad)'s not coming down to college and the chances of me going up to the NFL are one in a million in themselves. For it to happen is unbelievable really."
Empty No More
There's another reason why Charlene April was happy to have her son Bobby in Philadelphia. Having sent off their youngest daughter, Jackie, to her freshman year at Southern Miss in the fall of 2010, the Aprils were empty nesters for the first time. About six months later, they welcomed back their firstborn.
Luckily, said April III, they had a spare bedroom so he wouldn't be stuck on the couch.
"I like (living with my parents) more now than I did as a kid because I understand the money situation. The meals are cheaper," April III joked. "It's different when you have to call your mom and make sure you can stay out a little bit longer and to keep the door unlocked, but I've enjoyed it. It's really been a pleasure for me."
But even though they've been working and living under the same roof, the Bobbys don't see quite as much of each other as one might think. As part of a defensive coaching staff without a single holdover in a 2010 position, April III has been busy learning what he can do to help defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Meanwhile, April spends the bulk of his time with Duce Staley, the new special teams quality control coach.
"It seems like we're in a different building," said April III.
"Bobby's in at 4 o'clock (in the morning)," said April about his son. "I don't come in that early. By the time I come in, he's put in half a day."
That work ethic is something April III says he learned from his father, and it's something he's using to his advantage while he transitions from college to the NFL.
"In college, you spend so much time dealing with academics - kids getting in trouble, study halls," said April III. "In the NFL, you're football 100 percent.
You're doing video, you're teaching, you're learning, it's constant. You're increasing your football knowledge every day in the NFL.
"I've learned more football in the last four months than, without a doubt, I've ever learned."
In those rare times when both Aprils have been away from the office, they've enjoyed exploring the city of Philadelphia as a family. They've frequented the local sports scene, taking in Phillies, Sixers and Soul games, and they were on hand Saturday night for the Kenny Chesney concert at Lincoln Financial Field. The plan for Father's Day is a trip to their favorite Philadelphia stomping grounds, the Italian Market, which they frequent, according to April III, at least once a week.
Alas, the days of April waiting up for his son to come home from work are due to end soon. On July 10, April III and his fiancée Laura, who's moving up from New Orleans, will have a place of their own.
Meanwhile, at the office, April III is busy preparing for his first season as a coach at the professional level. Does he feel any pressure following in the footsteps of one of the league's most respected coaches?
"Pressure, I think, really comes from something you're not comfortable being involved in," said April III. "Then the pressure comes when you're almost scared to get stuff done. Working here, it's enjoyable to come to work. Everybody here loves what they do, so when everybody's working hard, it's not pressure. It's, ‘Hey, this is what you do.' It's exciting."
Moving forward as an NFL coach, "B-A-Three" – as he's called by his fellow coaches – has the lessons imparted by his father to guide his path, both in the office and at home.
"The main thing I've taken (from watching my Dad) is not to take your frustrations and your angers that happen at work back to the house," he said. "As far as football itself, (I've learned) the motivational side of it … I've learned the mindset of how to attack the job."
It's a job April III is more than happy to attack – as opposed to his once-upon-a-time aspired career.
"I wouldn't have been in the NFL of accountants," he said.
Last edited by C Mart; 02-07-2013 at 06:35 PM.
|02-07-2013, 06:15 PM||#3|
Bye week buh bye Rex
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: New York
|02-07-2013, 06:16 PM||#4|
Jets Insider VIP
Join Date: Sep 2003
VanGorder interviewed with the Jets Thursday.
The move comes after the Eagles made Billy Davis their defensive coordinator. Davis interviewed with the Jets for the linebacker coaching job a day after speaking to the Eagles about the coordinator opening, according to CSN Philly.
AUBURN, Alabama – Brian VanGorder has landed with the New York Jets two months after being fired as Auburn's defensive coordinator.
The Jets announced today that VanGorder will coach linebackers. VanGorder has plenty of NFL experience, serving as Atlanta's defensive coordinator from 2008-11 and also coached a year in Jacksonville. He was Georgia's defensive coordinator before that.
His first – and only – Auburn defense finished ranked 79th nationally last season. And Auburn's 63-21 loss to Texas A&M last season featured the most yards ever allowed by the school, a staggering 671 yards, and the most points allowed since 1917.
Eight of Gene Chizik's assistants have found new teams. The one who hasn't is Trooper Taylor, as well as Chizik.
Familiar to the Southeastern Conference, VanGorder was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Georgia from 2001-04, where he was named the 2003 Broyles Award winner as the nation's top assistant coach. During his tenure in Athens, Georgia won one SEC title, two SEC East Division championships, captured three Bowl games and ended up with three straight top 10 finishes in the final national polls.
Last edited by C Mart; 02-07-2013 at 06:23 PM.
|02-07-2013, 06:21 PM||#5|
Join Date: May 2003
My man C Goldberg getting it done on the Auburn beat (btw, the best Auburn beat writer ever -- and that's saying a lot down in Alabama). VanGorder will work out. he's more of an NFL guy, I think
|02-07-2013, 08:59 PM||#7|
Join Date: May 2003
Go look at all the names of the 32 "assistant head coach" guys and you'll find mostly a bunch of NFL asst coach lifers and a few ex-HCs with that title. It's like honorable mention in HS and stuff
|02-07-2013, 09:22 PM||#8|
Not a SOJF
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Apr 2003
Bobby April comes from a good football family, his father is a very established ST's coach, in Aguiar and April, Kotwica has some very capable assistants.
I think Rex has retooled his coaching staff rather well, a lot of new diversity, and established philosophies. Only surprse IMO is that Morhninweg didn't bring in any assistants. I do like that the Jets retained Lal and Lynn, as well as Devlin. I wonder if Morhinweg had any input on the Lee, Heller, and Hagen hires. The Heller hire is also interesting, was a solid player if I recall correctly.
Last edited by Ray Ray19; 02-07-2013 at 09:28 PM.