The Jaguars have landed one of the top assistants in college football, Georgia's Brian VanGorder, who will join Jack Del Rio's coaching staff as linebackers coach.
"Brian VanGorder is a high-energy, detail-oriented coach with an impressive background," Del Rio said. "He'll bring great enthusiasm and intensity. He is a good fit for our staff and for our defense."
VanGorder, 45, was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Georgia for the past four seasons and quickly established a reputation for producing top rankings and top prospects. He will replace Mike Haluchak as the Jaguars linebackers coach.
Jaguars DT Marcus Stroud is one of VanGorder's Bulldog products. So are Patriots DT Richard Seymour and Steelers LB Kendrell Bell. Four Georgia defensive players – Stroud, Seymour and Saints DE Charles Grant and DT Jonathan Sullivan – were selected in the first round of the NFL draft during VanGorder's time in Athens, Ga.
VanGorder won the Frank Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach in 2003, a year after being a finalist for the same honor. The 2003 Georgia team was second in the nation in scoring-defense, fourth in total-yards defense, sixth in pass-defense and 14th in turnover margin. The '02 Georgia team was fourth nationally in scoring-defense and allowed only 31 second-half points in the final seven games of the season.
His coaching experience dates back to 1981 and includes eight seasons on the high school level. He was head coach at Wayne State University, his alma mater, for three seasons, and was defensive coordinator at Grand Valley State, Central Florida, Central Michigan and Western Illinois. VanGorder is a native of Jackson, Mich.