Coaching / Development, Performance | Jan 18, 2019
Senior Appointments across the NFL, SL Benfica, Orlando Pride, Nottingham Forest and USA Swimming.

Performance Appointments

The Leaders Performance Institute’s weekly review of appointments across global sport.

For those teams not involved in the NFL championship games it is a time of change and renewal around the locker room. It is most obvious this week at the Cleveland Browns, where new Head Coach Freddie Kitchens continues to finalise his coaching staff for next season. Steve Wilks comes in as Offensive Coordinator and Todd Monken as Defensive Coordinator. They are joined by Mike Priefer as Special Teams Coordinator, Stump Mitchell as Running Backs/Run Game Coordinator, James Campen as Offensive Line Coach/Associate Head Coach, Ryan Lindley as Quarterbacks Coach and, finally, Jody Wright as Special Assistant to the Head Coach.

Not to be outdone, the Arizona Cardinals announced a series of appointments to new Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching staff. Vance Joseph comes in as Offensive Coordinator, Sean Kugler will serve as Offensive Line Coach, David Raih as Wide Receivers Coach, with Steve Heiden returning as Tight Ends Coach.

Up to the Windy City, the Chicago Bears have hired former Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano as Defensive Coordinator. He fills the space left by Vic Fangio, who took the Head Coach’s post at the Denver Broncos last week. And Fangio moved quickly to install his long-time associate Ed Donatell as his Defensive Coordinator. Donatell returns to Denver for his third stint at the Colorado franchise. The Baltimore Ravens have also promoted Greg Roman to Offensive Coordinator, while Gary Kubiak has moved to the Minnesota Vikings as Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor.



Adam Gase, new Head Coach of the New York Jets, has wasted no time in bolstering his coaching staff, bringing Gregg Williams as Defensive Coordinator. Similarly, the recently installed Green Bay Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur has added to his coaching team through the recruitment of Nathaniel Hackett as Offensive Coordinator. Replacing Hackett as Offensive Coordinator the Jacksonville Jaguars is John DeFilippo, who left the Vikings in December. The Detroit Lions have also filled their vacant Offensive Coordinator position, naming Darrell Bevell.

On to European soccer and the Portuguese Primeira Liga, where Lisbon-based giants Benfica have announced Bruno Lage as their new Head Coach. Lage, who was the coach of the Os Diabos‘ second team, had been in caretaker charge since the departure of Rui Vitória earlier this month.

Upon coaching his last match at Bristol City Women, Marc Skinner confirmed that he was set to become Head Coach of Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Few appointments have been as long in the making as Martin O’Neill taking the reins of English Championship side Nottingham Forest. The club first tried to appoint O’Neill in the wake of Brian Clough’s retirement in 1993 and, almost 25 years later, they have their man.

There has been one significant move in rugby union too, where the PRO14’s Dragons have confirmed Ceri Jones has Head Coach until the end of the 2018/19 season. He was the popular choice having gained club-wide support while serving in an interim capacity.

In the world of international cricket, the Scotland men’s team is set to have a new Head Coach, with Shane Burger taking the job in March. He arrives from KwaZulu-Natal Inland to replace the departing Grant Bradburn. Elsewhere, the peripatetic Paddy Upton is back in the India Premier League and back at the Rajasthan Royals for his season spell as their Head Coach. He originally served as the team’s Head Coach between 2013 and 2015.

Attention now turns to swimming and Team USA, who have announced Cal’s Dave Durden and Stanford’s Greg Meehan as Head Coaches of their men’s and women’s teams  respectively for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Click here for last week’s appointments.

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