The Green Bay Packers have named Jim Bates defensive coordinator. Mike Sherman, Executive Vice President and Head Coach, announced the move Monday.
Bob Slowik, the team's defensive coordinator in 2004, has an opportunity to return to the Packers coaching staff under Bates' leadership, Sherman said, but a final determination has yet to be made.
Bates, who will begin his duties Jan. 31, enters his 37th season in the coaching profession, his 15th in the NFL. The Dolphins' defensive coordinator the last five years (2000-04), he also went 3-4 as the club's interim head coach, including a 29-28 win over eventual AFC Champion New England, Dec. 20.
From 2000-04, only the Buccaneers (281.4 yards/game), Steelers (282.5), Ravens (286.4) and Bills (293.1) played better defensively than Miami (294.8). The Dolphins under Bates finished no worse than 10th in the NFL's overall rankings after each of his five seasons, including 2004, when they ranked eighth despite losing four starters to injured reserve. The team ranked sixth in 2000, fifth in 2001, third in 2002 and 10th in 2003.
Against the pass, the Dolphins entered the final week of the '04 season leading the league, but wound up second (162.0 yards/game). Miami's passing defense did pace the NFL in 2001, and ranked fifth in 2000, eighth in 2002 and 19th in 2003.
In five seasons, Bates' units produced 18 Pro Bowl selections (eight players). His squad did not allow a 100-yard rusher over a 20-game stretch that included the last four games of 2002 and the entire '03 campaign.
Prior to his time in Miami, Bates served as the Dallas Cowboys' linebackers coach (1996-97) and assistant head coach/defensive line (1998-99). Bill Belichick originally brought him to the NFL to coach the Browns' linebackers (1991) and defensive ends (1992-93). Then, after one year as Atlanta's defensive coordinator (1994), Bates returned to Cleveland as secondary coach (1995).
One of 13 individuals to serve as a head coach in both the NFL and United States Football League, Bates spent one year (1985) at the helm of the San Antonio Gunslingers. All told, he spent three years in the USFL, including two seasons as a defensive coordinator (Arizona Outlaws 1986, San Antonio 1984). Additionally, Bates coached another year at the pro level, as an assistant in 1988 for the Detroit Drive of the Arena League.
At the collegiate level, Bates has 15 years of coaching experience. A linebacker at the University of Tennessee (1964-67), he entered coaching with his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 1968, then made stops at Southern Mississippi (freshman coach 1972), Villanova (offensive line 1973, linebackers 1974), Kansas State (linebackers 1975-76), West Virginia (secondary 1977), Texas Tech (secondary 1978-79, defensive coordinator 1980-83), Tennessee (linebackers 1989) and Florida (defensive coordinator/secondary 1990) before coming to the NFL.
From 1969-71, he served as head coach at Sevier County (Tenn.) High School.
Bates' son James was a linebacker and defensive captain on Florida's 1996 national championship team. His other son, Jeremy, played at Rice and currently serves as assistant quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Slowik has 28 years of coaching experience, including 13 in the NFL, and eight as an NFL defensive coordinator. He originally joined the Packers as defensive backs coach, Feb. 10, 2000. The Packers promoted him to assistant head coach/defensive backs before the 2002 season, and to defensive coordinator before the '04 season.
Defensive backs coach Kurt Schottenheimer also will not return, Sherman announced. Schottenheimer, a veteran of 18 NFL seasons, joined the Packers Jan. 28, 2004, after spending the previous five years as an NFL defensive coordinator. Including 10 years as a college assistant, he has coached for 28 combined seasons.
Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin has left to accept a similar role at the University of Southern California, Sherman announced Jan. 17. The Trojans officially named Franklin to the post Thursday.
As a Packer fan this comes as great news to myself. I think Bates did a phenomenal job as the Dolphin's defensive coordinator and will hopefully turn a poor Green Bay defense around.[/quote]