LAKE FOREST, IL – The Chicago Bears reached an agreement with Joe DeCamillis today, making him their assistant head coach/special teams coordinator.
DeCamillis has 25 years of experience coaching special teams in the NFL, spending the last four seasons as special teams coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. In 20 of his 25 years as an NFL coach, a player on DeCamillis’ special teams unit has returned either a punt or a kickoff for a touchdown, with a total of 26 kick return touchdowns (16 punt and 10 kickoff). He has helped coach a punter (Mat McBriar) and returner (Allen Rossum) to Pro Bowl nods.
Last season, Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey was tied for second in the NFL in field goal accuracy, connecting on 93.5 percent of his attempts (29 of 31) and Dwayne Harris finished second in the league in punt returns averaging 16.1 yards per return (354 yards and one touchdown on 22 returns). Bailey also set a franchise mark with 30 touchbacks on kickoffs. The Cowboys were also sixth in kickoff coverage allowing just 22 yards per return.
In 2011, under DeCamillis tutelage, Bailey, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent finished with 32 field goals made, fourth all-time among NFL rookie kickers.
DeCamillis oversaw McBriar’s Pro Bowl campaign in 2010 when he led the NFL in both gross (47.9) and net (41.7) punting averages. The rookie combination of Dez Bryant (two) and Bryan McCann (one) combined for a team-record three punt return touchdowns. Kicker David Buehler was fourth in the NFL with 22 touchbacks.
In his first season with Dallas, DeCamillis led the unit to a fourth-place finish in the special teams rankings compiled by the Dallas Morning News’ Rick Gosselin after the team finished 27th a year before his arrival. During 2009, Dallas ranked second in the NFL in opponent starting field position after kickoffs (22.8-yard line) and sixth in punt returns (10.9 yards per return), after finishing 20th and 30th respectively in 2008. Patrick Crayton had a punt return touchdown in back-to-back contests, the second player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. McBriar set a franchise record that year with 38 punts downed inside-the-20.
DeCamillis came to Dallas by way of Jacksonville, spending two seasons (2007-08) coaching the Jaguars special teams. In Jacksonville, DeCamillis’ kickoff coverage units ranked fourth in the NFL in 2007 (25.8-yard line) and first in 2008 (24.5) in opponent starting point after kickoffs. His 2008 squad held the league’s third lowest opponent kickoff return average at 19.9 yards per return.
Prior to his time in Jacksonville, DeCamillis led Atlanta’s special teams units for 10 years (1997-2006). In those 10 seasons the Falcons punt coverage allowed an NFL-low 6.1 yards per return with just one touchdown, finishing first overall in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2004 and second overall in 1998 and 2002 . Atlanta was second in the NFL during DeCamillis’ tenure with eight kickoff return touchdowns and 13 total return touchdowns.
Five different Falcons had kick return touchdowns under DeCamillis tutelage, led by Derrick Vaughn’s four, which are second most in franchise history. In 2004, Rossum was named to the Pro Bowl after finishing second in the league with a 12.4 punt return average.
In 2002, DeCamillis helped kicker Jay Feely establish Falcons single-season records for points (138) and field goals made (32), which now both stand as second-best in franchise annals.
DeCamillis began his coaching career in Denver as defensive quality control and assistant special teams coach from 1988-92 before spending four seasons (1993-96) as special teams coach with the New York Giants.
DeCamillis and his wife, Dana, have two daughters, Caitlin and Ashley.
Source: Chicago Bears Media