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LOTT BLOG – Lott Men Making Their Marks as Coaches

By Pete Donovan

by lit-admin

By Pete Donovan, The Lott IMPACT Trophy

HEAD COACHES? – Both DeMeco Ryans (2005 winner from Alabama) and Jim Leonhard (2004 Finalist from Wisconsin) look to be positioning themselves for head coaching jobs sooner than later.

Ryans is the defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, a unit that held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to just 10 points in the playoffs.  Leonhard is the defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Wisconsin, a unit that held opponents to 64.8 yards rushing per game, breaking 70-year-old school record and leading the nation.

Both men are hugely popular and considered rising stars in the coaching profession.   Ryans has been interviewed for the head coaching job in Minnesota.

Ryans, 37 and the father of three, is in his first season as coordinator in San Francisco.  Following his All-American career at Alabama, he was a terrific NFL player in Houston and Philadelphia, being named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and making the Pro Bowl twice.

Leonhard, 39 and also the father of three, was undrafted, but played 10 years in the NFL.  He’s in his fifth season as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin.

Both men are on the Lott IMPACT Trophy Board of Advisors.


James Laurinaitis (2008 Winner from Ohio State) has also jumped into the coaching ranks.  He recently joined former teammate Marcus Freeman at Notre Dame after his fellow ex-Buckeye linebacker was named head coach of the Irish.  Laurinaitis, who had a solid 10-year NFL career with the Rams, had been in broadcasting since retiring….

Dr. Myron Rolle (2008 Finalist from Florida State) was named to the CoSIDA All-American Academic Hall of Fame.  Dr. Rolle, who is also on the Lott Advisory Board, was a Rhodes Scholar and is now in residency at Harvard Medical…

Aiden Hutchinson (Michigan), the 2021 Lott winner, was named to the Academic All-American first  team.  Also honored on the first team were 20212 Watch List candidates Thomas Booker (Stanford), Silas Kelly (Coastal Carolina) and Kekaula Kaniho (Boise State).


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