The Jacksonville Jaguars have named Frank Gansz as special teams coordinator. Gansz replaces Larry Pasquale, who served as the team's special teams coordinator for the last five seasons.
"The name of Frank Gansz is synonymous with great special teams play in the NFL," said Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin. "He is widely regarded as one of the finest special teams coaches in football, and his 22 years as a coach in this league bears that out. Frank is an excellent coach with a great background and great success. We welcome him to our staff."
"I want to work with Tom Coughlin," Gansz said. "We were together with the Eagles several years ago, and I look forward to being a part of his Jaguars staff. The objective for us is to win a championship - that's what it's all about."
Considered perhaps the top special teams coach in the NFL, Gansz enters his 23rd season as a coach in the NFL. He served as the special teams coach of the St. Louis Rams the last three seasons, helping the team to its victory in Super Bowl XXXIV. Gansz retired from the Rams earlier this month and was replaced by Pasquale.
In 1999, the Rams' special teams scored three touchdowns and led the NFL in kickoff returns, averaging 25.1 yards per return. Tony Horne led the league with a 29.7 average and two TDs, and Az-Zahir Hakim also returned a punt for a score and averaged 10.5 yards per return, ranking sixth in the NFC. St. Louis ranked 14th in punt return average (9.6). The Rams were fifth in the NFL in punt coverage (6.7) and 30th in kickoff coverage (24.9). In addition, Rams PK Jeff Wilkins set an NFL record for most extra points in a season without a miss (64).
In 1986, Gansz's first year as the assistant head coach/special teams for Kansas City, the Chiefs blocked or deflected an NFL-record 10 kicks and scored five touchdowns. The special teams helped Kansas City claim its first playoff berth in 15 years by scoring all 24 points in a 24-19 victory over Pittsburgh in the season finale.
Gansz was the Chiefs' head coach in 1987 and '88. He was the special teams coach of the Detroit Lions from 1989 to '93, a period in which Mel Gray developed into the NFL's all-time leader in combined kick return yardage. In 1989, Gansz was named NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year by his peers. He was the assistant head coach/special teams for the Atlanta Falcons from 1994 to '96.
Gansz's NFL career began in 1978 as special teams coach for the San Francisco 49ers. He coached special teams and tight ends for Cincinnati (1979-80), Kansas City (1981-82) and Philadelphia (1983-85).
After serving as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force for nearly seven years, Gansz began his coaching career at the Air Force Academy from 1964 to '66. He also had coaching stints at Colgate (1968), Navy (1969-72), Oklahoma State (1973, '75), Army (1974) and UCLA (1976-77).
Born in Altoona, Pa., Gansz attended Taylor-Allerdice High in Pittsburgh, and last year he was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He played center and linebacker for the Naval Academy in 1960. Gansz and his wife, Barbara, have two children, Frank Jr. and Jennifer.