NASHVILLE, TENN. – One day after announcing the team’s new offensive (Matt LaFleur) and defensive (Dean Pees) coordinators, the Titans have announced several additions to head coach Mike Vrabel’s coaching staff.
The group includes Pat O’Hara (Quarterbacks), Kerry Coombs (Secondary), Shane Bowen (Outside Linebackers), Tyrone McKenzie (Inside Linebackers) and Rob Moore (Wide Receivers).
Also, Craig Aukerman, who was previously the assistant Special Teams coach, will now be the Special Teams coach. Arthur Smith will remain as the Tight Ends coach with the Titans.
In his first season with the Titans n 2017, Aukerman served as assistant special teams coach, his eighth NFL season and his 18th year coaching. Aukerman joined the Titans after four seasons (2013-16) with the San Diego Chargers working with their special teams, first as an assistant special teams coach (2013-15) and then as the special teams coordinator (2016).
Overall, Aukerman has 18 years of coaching experience – 10 on the college level and seven in the NFL.
Smith will enter his eighth season on the Titans coaching staff, and his third season in charge of the tight ends after taking over the group for the final nine games of the 2015 season. He was the assistant tight ends coach for 2014 and the first seven games of the 2015.
This past season, tight end Delanie Walker earned his third Pro Bowl invitation, as he led the team in receptions (74) and yards (807). Rookie Jonnu Smith also contributed with 18 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith began with the Titans in 2011 as a defensive assistant/quality control coach, and from 2012–2013 he served as the offensive assistant/quality control coach before moving into the role of offensive assistant/tight ends coach in 2014.
Smith spent two years as the defensive quality control coach for the Washington Redskins from 2007-08. During the spring of 2007, he worked as a college scouting assistant for the Redskins. In 2010, he worked at Ole Miss as an administrative assistant/defensive intern and coached primarily with the linebackers.
Here’s a look at the other new coaches:
Kerry Coombs (Secondary)
Coombs has 35 years of coaching experience, including the last six years at Ohio State. Most recently, he held the title of Assistant Coordinator, Defense/Cornerbacks/Special Teams Coordinator for the Buckeyes. In each of his six seasons in Columbus, Coombs worked with the cornerbacks and saw four of his pupils become first round selections – Marshon Lattimore (11th overall/2017), Gareon Conley (24th overall/2017), Eli Apple (10th overall/2016) and Bradley Roby (31st overall/2014). In 2017, the Ohio State defense ranked ninth in the NCAA in yards allowed and in 2016, the Buckeyes ranked fourth nationally with 21 interceptions, including seven returned for touchdown. Coombs spent five seasons (2007-11) coaching the defensive backs at the University of Cincinnati before joining Ohio State. In 2007, the Bearcats led the nation with 26 interceptions. Additionally, Coombs has 24 years of experience in the high school ranks, including 16 seasons as the head coach at Colerain High School, where compiled a 161-34 record. He also had stops at Loveland High School, Lakota High School and Greenhills High School. A native of Ohio, Coombs played on the 1980 University of Dayton Division III National Championship team. He and his wife, Holly, are the parents of three grown children – Brayden, Cortney and Dylan.
Shane Bowen (Outside Linebackers)
Bowen joins the Titans after spending two seasons with the Houston Texans as a Defensive Assistant. Over the past two seasons with the Texans, he was part of a coaching staff that produced the NFL’s number one defense (yards allowed) for the first time in franchise history in 2016 and in 2017, the defense ranked fifth in third-down defense and set a franchise record for yards per carry by opponents (3.97). Prior to joining the Texans, Bowen coached linebackers for three seasons (2013-15) at Kennesaw State, where the school was transitioning to a Division I program. In 2012, Bowen was a Defensive Graduate Assistant at Ohio State for an undefeated season. From 2009-11, he spent three years coaching at his alma mater, Georgia Tech. Bowen was a three-year letter winner at Georgia Tech as an outside linebacker. A native of Pickerington, Ohio, Bowen and his wife, Courtney, have a daughter, Harper.
Pat O’Hara (Quarterbacks)
O’Hara joins the Titans after spending three seasons (2015-17) with the Houston Texans. In his time with Houston, O’Hara was an Offensive Assistant, who helped coach quarterbacks. In both 2015 and 2016, the Texans won the AFC South, while posting back-to-back 9-7 records. O’Hara brings a deep and varied set of experiences to the Titans, with a playing career that spanned 16 years as a quarterback, playing in the NFL, World League and the Arena Football League. Additionally, he spent 10 years coaching in the AFL, including stints as a head coach for the Los Angeles Avengers (2009), Tri-Cities Fever (AF2, 2009), Orlando Predators (2010-11) and New Orleans Voo-Doo (2012-14). As a quarterback in the AFL, he helped his team win three of the five ArenaBowls he played in. While still a quarterback with Orlando in 1996, O’Hara began his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach at Point Loma High School in California. He totaled another six years of high school coaching experience before becoming an offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Storm. O’Hara played his college football at the University of Southern California and was a 10th-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1991 NFL Draft. A Southern California native, O’Hara and his wife, Billie, have two sons, Tyler and Trace.
Rob Moore (Wide Receivers)
Moore has 16 years of NFL experience as a player and a coach. He joins the Titans after three years (2015-17) as the wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders and one year (2014) with the Buffalo Bills. During his time in Oakland, he worked with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, who became the first pair of Raiders wide receivers (2016) to surpass 1,000-receiving yards in the same season since 2001. Cooper became only the third player in NFL history to surpass 1,000-receiving yards and 70 receptions in each of his first two seasons in the league. Over the last three years, Cooper and Crabtree totaled 435 receptions, 5,556 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns. During his one year in Buffalo, he worked with Sammy Watkins, who set franchise records for a rookie with 65 receptions for 982 yards. Moore also brings five years of college coaching experience. He spent four seasons (2010-13) coaching wide receivers at Syracuse and one year (2009) at Phoenix (Ariz.) Junior College. He started his coaching career at Montclair (NJ) High School from 2002-03. Moore had a 12-year NFL career playing five seasons (1990-94) for the New York Jets and seven years (1995-2001) for the Arizona Cardinals. He played in 153 games, including 146 starts, and he totaled 628 receptions for 9,368 yards and 49 touchdowns. Moore was a first-round pick in the 1990 Supplemental Draft by the New York Jets from Syracuse.
Tyrone McKenzie (Inside Linebackers)
McKenzie comes to the Titans after spending last season as the assistant special teams coach for the Los Angeles Rams. In 2017, the Rams special teams unit earned Ric Gosselin’s number one ranking in his annual NFL rankings. Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks, McKenzie was the assistant defensive line/quality control coach at Stanford (2016) and outside linebackers/graduate assistant at Colorado (2015). He also had two years of high school coaching experience at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Fla. A former third-round pick by the New England Patriots in the 2009 NFL Draft, McKenzie played four seasons with stops at Tampa Bay and Minnesota. As a senior at South Florida, he earned first-team All-Big East honors and set a school record with 121 tackles.
Mike Vrabel is introduced as head coach of the Tennessee Titans (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)