Welland-born long-time football whiz wins NFL Coach of the Year


Published February 10, 2023 at 2:45 pm

Welland-born Brian Daboll was named the 2022 NFL Associated Press Coach of the Year yesterday. (Photo: NBC Sports Boston)

When Welland-born Brian Daboll was named the 2022 NFL Associated Press Coach of the Year yesterday after just his first year as a head coach, some may have thought he backed into it without paying his dues.

He has worked nearly every specialty coaching spot for countless NFL teams over the past many years before finally getting the nod at the top spot of the New York Giants, inheriting a 4-13 team and pushing it into the playoffs in his first season.

Daboll, 47, beat out Doug Pederson of the Jaguars and Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers to finish the voting in first.

He was born in Welland but soon after was raised by his grandparents just across the Peace Bridge in West Seneca, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.

He played football right through to the college level at the University of Rochester. After doing some college coaching with College of William & Mary and Michigan State, he made the jump to the NFL in 2000.

From there, he bounced around everywhere. He started as a defensive coach assistant with the New England Patriot, helping win three Super Bowls, went on to quarterbacks’ coach with the New York Jets and then offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns.

After that, he was named offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, then offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs before coming back to the Patriots as a tight ends’ coach, seeing two more Super Bowl wins.

He did a brief stint back in college ball as the offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide before finally coming home as the new offensive coordinator for his hometown Buffalo Bills in 2018, helping develop Josh Allen into a quarterback threat in the league.

Finally he landed at the top spot after being signed by the New York Giant, who he guided to a 9-7-1 season, handing the Minnesota Viking a 31-24 Wild Card loss before bowing out 38-7 to Sunday’s Super Bowl favourite, Philadephia Eagles in the second round.

So that “new” coach from Welland has certainly put in his time.

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