Jets head coach Rex Ryan announced the team hired wide receivers coach Henry Ellard, running backs coach Anthony Lynn, assistant secondary coach Doug Plank and secondary coach Dennis Thurman. Ryan also announced that former defensive coordinator Bob Sutton will be retained as senior defensive assistant/linebackers.
Sutton served as the Jets’ defensive coordinator the last two seasons, but former Ravens linebackers coach Mike Pettine will assume his duties. Under Sutton, the Jets’ defense ranked 16th in the NFL last year.
Ellard spent the last eight seasons with the Rams as their wide receivers coach. Ellard also coached at his alma mater, Fresno State, in 2000. Ellard, who was drafted by the Rams in the second-round of the 1983 NFL draft, recorded 814 receptions for 13,777 yards and 65 touchdowns over his 16-year career. He is currently tied with former Jets wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson for 19th on the all-time receiving list.
Lynn spent the last six seasons as running backs coach with the Browns (2007-2008), Cowboys (2005-2006) and Jaguars (2003-2004). Lynn became his coaching career with the Broncos in 2000, where he served as an offensive assistant and assistant special teams coach. Lynn spent seven years as a running back (1993-1999), winning two Super Bowl rings with the Broncos (1997-1998).
Plank served as a coaching assistant with the Falcons last season. From 2005-2008, he served as head coach of the Arena Football League’s Georgia Force, where he compiled a 47-25 record. Plank was named the AFL Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2007. After appearing in three Rose Bowls with Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes in the 1970s, he was drafted by the Bears in the 12th round of the 1975 NFL Draft. Interestingly enough, Buddy Ryan’s signature “46 Defense” was named after Plank’s No. 46 jersey. Buddy Ryan is of course the father of Rex.
Thurman spent the last six seasons alongside Ryan, where he served as the Ravens’ secondary coach. From2002-2007, the Ravens led the NFL with 126 interceptions and 18 interception returns for touchdowns. Thurman began his coaching career in 1988 with the Phoenix Cardinals, where he served as the team’s defensive backs coach for two seasons. From 1993-2000, Thurman served as the defensive backs coach at his alma mater USC. Thurman was an two-time All-American safety at USC (1974-1977) before playing nine seasons in the NFL with the Cowboys and Cardinals. He had 36 career interceptions.