The New York Jets named Kevin O’Dea special teams coordinator replacing Mike Westhoff who retired following the Jets final game this past season.
O’Dea has spent the last two seasons as an assistant special teams coach for the Chicago Bears. In both seasons, Chicago led the NFL in overall special teams rankings, according to the Dallas Morning News ranking system. In the last two seasons, under O’Dea’s guidance, Bears kicker Robbie Gould led the NFL with 63 field goals and 269 points. O’Dea helped Gould become the ninth kicker in NFL history with back-to-back seasons of 30 field goals made, including 32-of-36 in 2006 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl. Punter Brad Maynard has landed 51-of-165 punts inside-the-20 over the last two seasons under O’Dea’s tutelage and the Bears punt coverage unit ranked third in the NFL this season allowing just 5.9 yards per return.
Before joining the Bears, O’Dea was the special teams coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2004-05. O’Dea worked with Neil Rackers, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl following the 2005 season after he set an NFL record for most field goals in a season with 40, including a streak where he hit 31 consecutive field goals. The Cardinals set three NFL records in 2005: most field goals over 40 yards (19); most field goals by an individual (Rackers, 40) and most field goals by a team (43).
O’Dea, a wide receiver and defensive back at Lock Haven (PA), has also coached with the Detroit Lions (2002-03, special teams assistant), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-01 offensive/defensive assistant), San Diego Chargers (1994-95, defensive assistant) in the NFL. O’Dea coached in college at Penn State (1991-93), Virginia (1988-90), Cornell (1987) and Lock Haven (1986).