Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Tim Twentyman

The Detroit Lions have announced that Dave Fipp will be the team's new special teams coordinator.

Here are 5 things to know about Fipp:

1. Coaching career

Fipp started his coaching career at Holy Cross in 1998 as a special teams coordinator and secondary coach. He returned to his alma mater Arizona in 2000 as a graduate assistant. Fipp would coach in college six more seasons as a defensive or co-defensive coordinator with stops at Cal Poly, Nevada and San Jose State.

Fipp left college for the NFL in 2008 as an assistant special teams coach in San Francisco. He was the assistant special teams coach in Miami from 2011-12, before joining Philadelphia as their special teams coordinator in 2013, a job he held until signing on with Detroit.

2. Special teams success

Since his arrival in Philadelphia in 2013, Fipp's special teams units rank second in the NFL in special teams touchdowns (12 - four kickoff return touchdowns, four punt return touchdowns and four blocked punts returned for touchdowns) and total blocks (18 - seven blocked kicks and 11 blocked punts). Additionally, the Eagles have committed the fifth fewest special teams penalties (94) in that span.

In his second year with the Eagles, Fipp's unit was recognized by Rick Gosselin's annual rankings as the top special teams unit in the league.

The 2014 Eagles special teams unit accounted for a franchise-best and NFL-leading seven touchdowns (three blocked punt returns, two kickoff returns and two punt returns) and a league-best six blocked kicks.

Fipp's units were top five in Gosselin's ranking in 2015 and the top unit in 2016.

Fipp won a Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2017.

3. Player development

Fipp coached linebacker Rick Lovato to his first Pro Bowl selection in 2019. He also helped kicker Jake Elliott establish a career-high 84.6 percent field goal percentage and punter Cameron Johnston produce Top 10 finishes in gross (46.4, 9th) and net (42.3, 8th) punting averages.

4. Playing days

Fipp played for the University of Arizona from 1994 to 1997. As a walk-on, he led Arizona's special teams unit in tackles as a sophomore in 1995. He received a scholarship prior to the 1996 season and was the Wildcats' starting free safety in 1996 and 1997.

The 1997 Wildcats defense ranked among the top defensive units in the Pac-10 Conference and ranked 12th nationally in rushing defense.

5. Ranked pole vaulter

Fipp attended La Jolla High School in California. In addition to playing football for the La Jolla High School Vikings, Fipp was a ranked pole vaulter in the state of California and at one time held the school's record with a mark of 15'5".

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