The Ravens began filling the holes in their “in flux” coaching staff Wednesday by moving Steve Spagnuolo from senior defensive assistant to secondary coach and hiring Brian Pariani as tight ends coach, head coach John Harbaugh announced.
Spagnuolo has also been named the team’s assistant head coach.
Spagnuolo, a 16-year coaching veteran, will be entering his second season as a member of Baltimore’s staff and replaces Teryl Austin, who left to become Lions defensive coordinator under Jim Caldwell.
Spagnuolo brings a wealth of high-level experience, as he served as Saints defensive coordinator in 2012, Rams head coach from 2009-11 and Giants defensive coordinator from 2007-08. He led the New York defense that won Super Bowl XLII.
He also has spent a number of years coaching defensive backs, which he did with the Eagles from 2001-03, with Bowling Green from 1996-97, with Rutgers from 1994-95, with Maine in 1993 and with UConn from 1987-91.
“How fortunate are we to have a former NFL head coach, former defensive coordinator and secondary coach become the Ravens’ coach for our defensive backs?” Harbaugh said in a statement. “Steve is one of the outstanding teachers in the NFL, and he already worked with our defensive staff and players last season as a senior assistant. Our players respect him, and a number of our veteran defensive backs recently said to me that they wanted Steve to coach them.”
Spagnuolo has coached for teams that have clinched eight playoff berths, won six division titles, made five conference championship game appearances, won two conference titles and won Super Bowl XLII. He also spent eight seasons (1999-2006) on the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff with Harbaugh. In his first year as Philadelphia defensive backs coach, the team ranked second in pass defense (179.0 ypg), second in points allowed (13.0 ppg) and seventh in total defense (293.8 ypg).
Pariani enters his 24th season as an NFL coach ans spent the last eight years (2006-13) as Texans tight ends coach under new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
Pariani served as Syracuse’s offensive coordinator for one season (2005) following 10 years (1995-04) coaching the Broncos’ tight ends. From 1991-94, he was an offensive coaching assistant in San Francisco after originally beginning his pro coaching career in 1990 as a scouting assistant with the 49ers.
Under Pariani, Texans tight end Owen Daniels has emerged as one of the NFL’s top offensive players, appearing in two Pro Bowls. While with the Broncos, Pariani coached Denver and Baltimore great Shannon Sharpe, a 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
“Brian has earned a reputation as one of the NFL’s top tight ends coaches, and we’re excited that he was available and willing to join us,” Harbaugh stated. “Another factor that immediately makes him valuable to us is his familiarity with the offense we want to run. We are making changes on offense, and Brian will be able to help teach and implement them.”