Cover, Football, Sports

UM football finds replacement for Kuligowski, hires new defensive line coach

Hurricanes football

The Hurricanes celebrate in front of fans at Hard Rock Stadium following a 41-8 victory over No. 3 Notre Dame Nov. 11, 2017. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian

Fewer than two weeks after defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski left Miami’s football program for Alabama, the Hurricanes have already made the big move on the next man up.

Jess Simpson, a former Atlanta Falcons defensive assistant and highly esteemed Georgia prep football coach, will be the new defensive line coach at UM, head coach Mark Richt announced Friday, March 2.

Simpson spent the 2017 season with the Falcons and was the defensive line/assistant head coach at Georgia State in 2016.

“We are excited to welcome Jess to our Miami family,” Richt said. “He has proven to be a great leader of men, and he brings a high level of energy, enthusiasm and expertise to our coaching staff.”

“On every front, we are really excited,” Simpson said. “This is really turning the page and starting a new chapter for me and my family. Ultimately, it was about the people and certainly this decision – to work for Mark Richt and having this opportunity at Miami in the defensive line room – was too good to pass up.”

Simpson helped lead the Falcons to the No. 9-ranked total and rushing defense in the NFL last season. He also won seven state titles in his 12 years as the head football coach at Buford High School in Georgia. At Buford, he totaled a dominating 164-12 record – a .932 winning percentage.

“I know the rich tradition of success – the types of players and defensive linemen that have come through the room and had an impact at this level and on the NFL level,” Simpson said. “We have some super talented kids in our room and some incredible kids coming to join us this fall … And then even more in the future. We have something special going on, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

March 2, 2018

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Isaiah Kim-Martinez

Isaiah Kim-Martinez can be reached on Twitter at @isaiah_km.


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.