The Bengals announced the hiring of six assistants for the team’s 2019 coaching staff. The new assistants include Nick Eason (defensive line), Tem Lukabu (linebackers), Brad Kragthorpe (offensive assistant), Jordan Kovacs (defensive quality control), Todd Hunt (assistant strength and conditioning) and Garrett Swanson (assistant strength and conditioning).
Here is a brief look at those new assistants, and below is a list of the Bengals’ 2019 coaching staff:
Eason, 38, comes to Cincinnati from Vanderbilt University, where he recently was hired as the Commodores’ defensive line coach.
Eason has five total seasons of NFL coaching experience. He was an assistant coach with the Tennessee Titans from 2014-17, where he first served as their assistant defensive line coach (’14-15), and then as their defensive line coach (’16-17). He began his coaching career as an intern coach with the Cleveland Browns in 2013.
Eason played defensive end in the NFL for 10 seasons from 2004-12 with the Denver Broncos (’03), the Cleveland Browns (’04-06), the Pittsburgh Steelers (’07-10) and the Arizona Cardinals (’11-12). Originally a third-round draft pick of the Broncos in 2003, Eason played collegiately at Clemson University (1999-2002), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in ’01.
Lukabu, 37, joins the Bengals from Mississippi State University, where spent the 2018 season as linebackers coach. He has four years of previous NFL coaching experience, with the San Francisco 49ers (defensive quality control coach, 2016-17) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (defensive assistant, ’12-13).
Lukabu has seven years of coaching experience in the college ranks. In addition to his time at Mississippi State, he has coached at Florida International University (linebackers, ’15), Colgate University (outside linebackers, ’14), Rutgers University (outside linebackers, ’10-11), the University of Rhode Island (linebackers, ’08-09). He played linebacker at Colgate (2000-03), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 2004. He began his career working in a player development role at Rutgers from ’06-07. His name is pronounced “TEMM LUKE-uh-boo”.
Kragthorpe, 26, was an offensive coaching analyst for Louisiana State University in 2018. Prior to working for LSU, he was an offensive graduate assistant coach at Utah State University from 2016-17. Kragthorpe played quarterback at both LSU (2012-15) and Idaho State University (’11). He graduated from LSU with a business degree in 2015.
Kovacs, 28, spent the last two seasons (2017-18) as a graduate assistant at the University of Michigan. He played safety in the NFL from 2013-15 with the Miami Dolphins. Originally a college free agent signee, he played in 28 games in his career with the Dolphins. In college, he played four seasons (2009-12) at the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in movement science in ’13. He originally joining the team as a walk-on before working his way to team captain as a senior.
Hunt, 27, was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Illinois in 2018. Previously, he was a defensive graduate assistant coach at Fresno State from 2016-17. He also played defensive end at Fresno State (2012-15), graduating with a degree in criminology and law enforcement in ’15.
Swanson, 24, was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Illinois from 2017-18. He was a punter and kicker for Fresno State (2012-15), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in ’16. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals as a college free agent in 2016, playing for the Cardinals in preseason that year. Swanson earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from California Baptist University in 2018.
BENGALS 2019 COACHING STAFF
(An asterisk denotes a coach who returns from the 2018 coaching staff)
- Zac Taylor
- Lou Anarumo (defensive coordinator)
- Bob Bicknell* (wide receivers)
- Joey Boese (strength and conditioning)
- Brian Callahan (offensive coordinator)
- James Casey (tight ends)
- Brayden Coombs* (assistant special teams)
- Nick Eason (defensive line)
- Todd Hunt (assistant strength and conditioning)
- Daronte Jones* (secondary/cornerbacks)
- Jordan Kovacs (defensive quality control)
- Brad Kragthorpe (offensive assistant)
- Robert Livingston* (secondary/safeties)
- Tem Lukabu (linebackers)
- Ben Martin (assistant offensive line)
- Dan Pitcher* (assistant quarterbacks)
- Darrin Simmons* (special teams coordinator)
- Jemal Singleton (running backs)
- Garrett Swanson (assistant strength and conditioning)
- Jim Turner (offensive line)
- Alex Van Pelt* (quarterbacks)
- Doug Rosfeld (director of coaching operations)