Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dolphins add special teams assistant, promote three coaches

The Miami Dolphins' coaching staff has undergone very few changes this offseason, with only assistant special teams coach Dave Fipp not returning in 2013 after becoming special teams coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Dolphins replaced Fipp on Thursday, hiring Marwan Maalouf to serve as assistant special teams coach under coordinator Darren Rizzi.

The 36-year-old Lebanon native spent one season as the Colts' special teams coordinator in 2012, although the parties "mutually agreed" to part ways a few weeks ago. (Translation: he was fired.) He previously spent four seasons (2008-11) as an assistant special teams coach with the Baltimore Ravens and three seasons (2004-06) as a special teams quality control coach for the Cleveland Browns.

Maalouf also has collegiate coaching experience, serving as an assistant at Baldwin-Wallace College (assistant offensive line), Fordham (assistant offensive line), Eastern Michigan (graduate assistant) and Rutgers (assistant offensive line/graduate assistant). He played guard at Division III Baldwin-Wallace.

In addition to Malouf's hiring, the Dolphins also promoted a few of their own assistants to new titles.

Zac Taylor becomes quarterbacks coach after one year as assistant quarterbacks coach. The 29-year-old came over with father-in-law Mike Sherman (the Dolphins' offensive coordinator) from Texas A&M upon Joe Philbin's hiring last year. A former starting quarterback at Nebraska, Taylor spent part of the 2007 offseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and later had a cup of coffee with the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers before ending his playing career.

26-year-old Ben Johnson replaces Taylor as the assistant quarterbacks coach, having spent last season as an offensive assistant. Johnson was a quarterback at North Carolina before becoming a software developer and later serving as a graduate assistant for the football team at Boston College (2009-11).

Like Johnson, sophomore coach Charlie Bullen goes from a general assistant role to an assistant position coach role, moving from defensive assistant to assistant defensive line coach under highly-regarded veteran assistant Kacy Rodgers. Bullen, 28, was a quarterback at Harper College before volunteering at the high school level. He served as a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa from 2009-11, working with the defense as well as current Dolphins' receivers coach Ken O'Keefe.