Coaching / Development Performance | 22.02.19

Performance Appointments

Senior Appointments across the NFL, soccer, cricket and beyond.

Performance Appointments

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

As we approach the back end of February the teams of the NFL are busily finalising their coaching staffs for the 2019 season. First up is the Cincinnati Bengals, who have hired Lou Anarumo as Defensive Coordinator. He arrives from the New York Giants, whom he served as Defensive Backs Coach.

On to Missouri, where the Kansas City Chiefs announced that Brendan Daly has joined from the New England Patriots and is reunited with Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in a defensive assistant and defensive line role. Also appointed are Matt House as Linebackers Coach, Dave Merritt as Defensive Backs Coach, Defensive Backs/Cornerbacks Coach Sam Madison, Linebackers and Outside Linebackers Coach Brett Reid, Defensive Quality Control Coach Terry Bradden and, finally, defensive assistant Alex Whittingham.

Over to the East Coast and the Carolina Panthers and their swift efforts to replace retiring Running Backs Coach Jim Skipper. The chosen man is University of Alabama Offensive Analyst Jake Peetz.

Speaking of college football, Auburn has rehired Wes McGriff as Assistant Head Coach to Gus Malzahn. McGriff replaces Defensive Backs Coach Greg Brown, who has left to take the same role at Purdue.

Another quick mover is the national champion, Alabama, who have reacted to losing two special teams analysts by recruiting Iowa State’s Joe Houston and Virginia Tech’s Johnathan Galante.

And for those of you interested in the XFL, the Washington DC franchise has announced Pep Hamilton as General Manager and Head Coach.

From North to South America and soccer. The Paraguay men’s national team has a new Head Coach in the form of Eduardo Berizzo. The former Athletic Bilbao coach replaces Juan Carlos Osorio ahead of this summer’s Conmebol Copa America.


Eduardo Berizzo (Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Down Under, the Australia women’s national team has a new Head Coach in the form of Ante Milicic, replacing Alen Stajcic with the team commonly known as the Matildas ahead of the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup, which commences in June.

This week’s other big mover in women’s soccer is Rachel Yankey, who has been promoted to Head Coach of the FA Women’s Championship side London Bees for the remainder of the season. She replaces Luke Swindlehurst as he takes a position within the Barnet Football Club academy.

Next up is golf and Team USA, who have announced Steve Stricker as Captain of their Ryder Cup team for the 2020 edition on home soil in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.

We now turn our attention to cricket, where Paul Farbrace is to step down as England men’s Assistant Coach at the conclusion of the team’s ongoing Caribbean tour. He is to take the post of Sporting Director at Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

Farbrace is not alone in seeking pastures new. Dominic Cork is to serve as Head Coach of Derbyshire men’s T20 team for the duration of this summer’s Vitality Blast competition, while Ajmal Shahzad has been presented as Head Coach of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

Sticking with county cricket, Atiq-uz-Zaman has been appointed Head Coach of the Lancashire women’s team. He will fill in for Dan Atkinson, who is taking a 12-month sabbatical.

And so to rugby, where Michael O’Connor is to serve as a national selector for the Australia men’s national team. He joins the three-man selection panel ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Friday 15th February

More movement in the NFL again this week, starting with the Miami Dolphins. Newly appointed Head Coach Brian Flores has added 16 members to his coaching staff, most notably Jim Caldwell as Assistant Head Coach and Quarterbacks Coach. Chad O’Shea has been named Offensive Coordinator, Patrick Graham as Defensive Coordinator, and Danny Crossman as Special Teams Coordinator.


Jim Caldwell (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Next is the Oakland Raiders, who have made five coaching hires this week. Brentson Buckner has been brought in as Defensive Line Coach, Kirby Wilson is the new Running Backs Coach, Taver Johnson is Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, John Morton as a senior offensive assistant, and AJ Neibel as Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Then there is the Cincinnati Bengals and their three performance hires during the week. Jemal Singleton has come in as Running Backs Coach, Joey Boerse as Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Doug Rosfeld as Director of Coaching Operations.

To wrap up the league, the Washington Redskins have announced Tim Rattay as their new Quarterbacks Coach, while the Atlanta Falcons have added Bob Sutton as a senior assistant.

The major appointment in European soccer this week was Thomas Hitzlsperger as the Sporting Director of German Bundesliga side Stuttgart.

Over to rugby league, where Brandon Costin has been named Head Coach of the Fiji men’s national team. He replaces Matt Adamson and has signed a three-year contract that takes in the 2021 World Cup in Great Britain.

Sticking in the South Pacific, Bob Carter, High Performance Coach at New Zealand Cricket, has taken interim charged of the New Zealand women’s national team as Haidee Tiffen takes a sabbatical.

We switch the focus to soccer and the Scottish Premiership, where Hibernian have appointed Paul Heckingbottom on a three-and-a-half-year contract. He replaces the departing Neil Lennon and is joined by Robbie Stockdale as his assistant.

Down in the Scottish Championship, Andy Goldie has taken the role of Academy Director at Dundee United. He will work closely with Sporting Director Tony Asgar.

Friday 8th February

We start with the NFL this week and with the dust barely settled on Super Bowl LIII, the Patriots’ Defensive Coordinator, Brian Flores, has been officially confirmed as Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins. He was been replaced at New England by Greg Schiano.

The Patriots’ opponents on the night, the LA Rams, this week saw their Quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor join the Cincinnati Bengals as Head Coach. He was quickly joined by four offensive assistants: Brian Callahan, Jim Turner, James Casey and Ben Martin.



Another NFL veteran back in the game is Howard Mudd, who has returned to the Indianapolis Colts as a senior offensive assistant. Mudd has long been considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the league.

The NFL will soon be joined in the US football market by the XFL and the nascent Dallas franchise has just hired Bob Stoops as General Manager.

Across the point to football in Spain, where La Liga side Villarreal have re-appointed Javi Calleja as Head Coach – a mere seven weeks after he was first dismissed from the post. He returns to replace Luis García, whose tenure lasted a mere 50 days.

Heading over to Switzerland, Stéphane Henchoz, has been installed as Head Coach of the Swiss Super League’s Neuchâtel Xamax. The former defender, who represented the club in the early 1990s, has been promoted from assistant in the wake of Michel Decastel’s dismissal earlier this week.

In the international game, the Colombia men’s national team have made Carlos Queiroz their new Head Coach. He replaces José Pekerman, who quit the post after los Cafeteros exited the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

Another person finding gainful employment is Theirry van Cleemput, who has been appointed by former tennis world No1 Simona Halep. He officially begins work at next week’s Qatar Open.

On to rugby union and Rugby Australia, who have relieved Stephen Larkham of his duties as an assistant coach with the men’s national team and installed him as National High Performance Coach Advisor.

Cricket’s English Country Championship also welcomed a new Head Coach this week, with the appointment of Matthew Maynard at Glamorgan. He has accepted the role for the duration of the 2019 season.

Click here for last week’s appointments.