St. Louis Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo announced that he has hired five more coaches for his 2009 coaching staff. Spagnuolo will also retain Art Valero as assistant offensive line coach.
The new coaches include Sylvester Croom, running backs; Rock Gullickson, strength and conditioning; Tom McMahon, special teams coordinator; Matt House, defensive quality control, and Brendan Daly, defensive line.
Croom most recently was head coach at Mississippi State, where he was Southeastern Conference coach of the year in 2007 after bringing the Bulldogs from the bottom of the SEC to a 7-5 record in his third season.
Seventeen of Croom’s 30 seasons as a coach have been in the NFL, beginning as running backs coach at Tampa Bay in 1987. He was at Indianapolis in 1991 and at San Diego from 1992-96. He was offensive coordinator at Detroit (1997-2000). He coached running backs at Green Bay (2001-03).
Croom was the first African-American head coach in the SEC and followed Wilbur Jackson in 1971 as one of the first African-American players at the University of Alabama. He was the starting center for coach Paul (Bear) Bryant on Crimson Tide teams that posted a 22-2 record in Croom’s last two seasons.
Daly, who came to the NFL in 2006 after eight seasons on the collegiate level, was a defensive assistant-defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings’ defense ranked first in the NFL in rushing defense the last three seasons.
McMahon was Assistant Special Coach for the Atlanta Falcons the last two seasons after 14 seasons as a collegiate linebackers, defensive line, secondary coach, special teams coach, and recruiting coordinator. He was at his alma mater, Carroll College in Helena, Montana, in 1992 and 1994, and was at Utah State from 1995-2006 .
Gullickson will begin his 10 th NFL season and 32 nd as a coach. He was named the 2007 NFL Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year, as chosen by the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society.
Valero, who coached running backs for the Rams in 2008, is the 15 th staff addition announced by Spagnuolo since he became the Rams’ head coach Jan. 17.