Kevin Coyle
Defensive Backs


Kevin Coyle returns for his 11th season on the Bengals coaching staff in 2011. He is in his ninth year as defensive backs coach, directing a unit that has proved one of the team’s more consistent strengths in recent years.
Kevin Coyle returns for his 11th season on the Bengals coaching staff in 2011. He is in his ninth year as defensive backs coach, directing a unit that has proved one of the team’s more consistent strengths in recent years.
During the tenure of head coach Marvin Lewis (2003-10)—coinciding with Coyle’s 2003 promotion from cornerbacks coach to secondary coach—the Bengals have snagged 150 interceptions, fifth-most in the NFL. Of those 150 picks, 125 have been collected by defensive backs.

Last season was a particularly challenging one for Coyle, as five veteran defensive backs due for starting jobs or significant reserve roles wound up being placed on the Reserve/Injured list. The five players—S Chris Crocker, CB Adam Jones, S Chinedum Ndukwe, CB Morgan Trent and S Gibril Wilson—missed a combined total of 46 games. Three other DBs saw their seasons ended prematurely by injuries or illness, bringing the total to eight.

Also hampered by injuries, though not placed on a reserve list, were No. 1 LCB Johnathan Joseph and No. 1 SS Roy Williams.

With spots open to fill, Coyle guided solid performances out of newcomers Reggie Nelson (S) and Jonathan Wade (CB), while continuing the development of second-year pro Rico Murray (CB).

The continuing standout in Coyle’s stable has been No. 1 RCB Leon Hall, thought by many in the Bengals camp to be long overdue for Pro Bowl recognition. Also last season, Coyle helped guide a productive return to NFL play for CB Adam Jones, prior to Jones’s season-ending injury after five games. Jones proved to be an explosive force and a solid team influence after sitting out the 2009 season.

In 2009, working with a healthier unit, Coyle directed a group that helped fuel the team’s capture of the AFC North Division title. The Bengals finished sixth in the NFL in net pass defense and fourth in overall defense.

In 2005, Coyle oversaw a 10-INT season by CB Deltha O’Neal, the highest individual total in Bengals history. O’Neal was voted to the Pro Bowl, and Bengals DBs had 23 of Cincinnati’s NFL-leading 31 INTs on the year. O’Neal was the second DB under Coyle to make the Pro Bowl, as CB Tory James earned the honor in 2004, when he had eight INTs.
This is Coyle’s 35th year in coaching, including one in high school, 23 in college and 11 in the NFL. He began his college tenure in 1978 as a graduate assistant at the University of Cincinnati. In his last 10 seasons before joining the Bengals, he was defensive coordinator and secondary coach at three Division I college programs — Syracuse, Maryland and Fresno State.

At Fresno State, Coyle’s defenses produced three first-team All-Western Athletic Conference players in both ’99 and ’00, best in the league both years.
At Maryland, Coyle oversaw a dramatic improvement in the Terrapins defense, steadily guiding a program that had struggled prior to his arrival.

At Syracuse (1991-93), Coyle’s ’92 defense led the nation in interceptions (24) and set a school record for fewest rushing yards allowed (1007) in an 11-game season.

Coyle was at Holy Cross from 1982-90. During his five years as coordinator, Holy Cross was the winningest Division I-AA team in the nation (49-5-1).

Six players from Coyle’s Fresno State defenses went on to play in the NFL, including three defensive backs. At Maryland, Coyle coached future NFL cornerbacks Chad Scott and Lewis Sanders. At Syracuse, he coached future NFL standout safety Donovin Darius.

Coyle has been active in the community, speaking to emotionally troubled patients at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital, as well as speaking at schools on behalf of the D.A.R.E. program. He also coordinates the annual Youth Coaches Clinic sponsored by the Marvin Lewis Community Fund.

Coyle was born Jan. 14, 1956, in Staten Island, N.Y. He and his wife, Louise, have a daughter, Jenlain, age 18.

PLAYING AND COACHING HISTORY - 1974-75: Played DB at Massachusetts. 1978-79: Graduate assistant, Univ. of Cincinnati. 1980: Coaching assistant, Arkansas. 1981: Defensive coordinator, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. 1982-85: Assistant coach (AC), Holy Cross. 1986-90: Defensive coordinator, Holy Cross. 1991-93: Defensive coordinator, Syracuse. 1994-96: Defensive coordinator, Maryland. 1997-2000: Defensive coordinator, Fresno State. 2001-present: AC, Bengals.


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