Special Team Coaches

A look at Rams interim coach John Fassel

http://www.ocregister.com/

The Rams named special teams coordinator John Fassel as interim coach Monday after firing Jeff Fisher.

Head coaching is in Fassel’s blood, as his father Jim coached the New York Giants from 1997-2003 and to a Super Bowl appearance in the 2000 season.

An Anaheim native, Fassel, 42, has guided the Rams’ special teams since 2012 and they have consistently been a strong point.

Here’s a look at Fassel’s career:

RAMS SPECIAL TEAMSLed by two-time Pro Bowl punter Johnny Hekker since 2012, the Rams are first in the NFL in net average, net yards and opponent return average.

This season, the Rams lead the NFL in punts downed inside the 20-yard line, already matching the NFL record of 46 punts inside the 20 in a season.

The punt-return unit has scored four times in Fassel’s five seasons, tied for the third in the NFL during that span. This season, the Rams lead the NFL in allowing only 3.7 yards per punt return.

Kicker Greg Zuerlein, drafted by the Rams in Fassel’s first season, has recorded five of the six longest field goals in franchise history. He has booted 18 field goals of 50 or more yards.

Kick returner Benny Cunningham ranks first in Rams history with 27.1 yards per return.

NFL EXPERIENCEBefore joining the Rams, Fassel spent three years as special teams coordinator with the Oakland Raiders, who led the NFL in special teams takeaways, turnover differential and points in 2009 and 2010.

Fassel’s first NFL job was as Baltimore’s assistant special teams coach from 2005-07. In that time, the Ravens were among the top 10 in punt and kickoff return average in 2006 and 2007, and they returned five kicks for touchdowns.

BACKGROUNDFassel played wide receiver at Weber State, graduating in 1999 with a degree in exercise science. He signed as a rookie free agent with the Indianapolis Colts.

He earned a master’s degree in athletic administration at Idaho State University, where he was a graduate assistant and sports science instructor from 2000-01.

He spent one season as a wide receivers and special teams coach at Bucknell University before leaving to become the head coach and assistant athletic director at New Mexico Highlands University from 2003-04.

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