Mike Nolan has been named the new defensive coordinator in Miami.
This is a great move for the Dolphins, but might eventually be an even bigger gain for the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
In an offseason where Leslie Frazier, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, is currently the only African-American coach really getting serious press, some might wonder who else could move into a head coaching role soon? Hopefully Frazier gets an opportunity, but whether he does or not, another name to start paying attention to is Dolphins assistant head coach/secondary coach, Todd Bowles.
Bowles is a bright young coach, who is a hard worker with a passionate approach, yet remains composed. In his current position he is able to pick the brains of executive VP – football ops, Bill Parcells, and head coach Tony Sparano.
These are two incredible men to learn from, but Nolan may be the one who really provides a new level of guidance and additional mentorship. Nolan is a very dedicated, straight forward man, who loves the game and lives to teach. Bowles takes the same approach and players respect him. They respect him because he treats them well, holds each man accountable and because he has been in their shoes as an NFL player. During his 8 years as a safety, Bowles started for the Redskins in their Super Bowl XXII victory over the Broncos, proving he knows what it takes to succeed.
Nolan has experienced the ups-and-downs of a lifelong coach. He has worked under numerous head coaches, demanding, hands-on owners and been a head coach himself, with the San Francisco 49ers. He is a family man that takes care of the people around him and truly cares about the individuals he has the opportunity to converse with.
Nolan’s vantage point on issues, and the time he and Bowles will spend together in preparing Miami’s defense may very well prove to be the final launching point for Bowles.
Next season will be an exciting one for Dolphins fans, but success, especially on the defensive side of the ball could also lead to losing a great assistant coach to a bigger opportunity elsewhere in the league.