Jerry Gray
refer to caption
Gray in 2023
Atlanta Falcons
Position:Assistant head coach/defense
Personal information
Born: (1962-12-16) December 16, 1962 (age 61)
Lubbock, Texas, U.S.
Career information
High school:Lubbock (TX) Estacado
College:Texas
NFL Draft:1985 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions:28
Interception yards:374
Touchdowns:3
Player stats at NFL.com
Coaching stats at PFR

Jerry Don Gray (born December 16, 1962) is an American football coach and former player who is the assistant head coach/defense for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). Gray played college football at the University of Texas at Austin, where he garnered All-American honors. Thereafter, he played professionally for the Los Angeles Rams, Houston Oilers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.

Early years

Gray was born in Lubbock, Texas. He attended Lubbock Estacado High School. He was inducted into the Lubbock ISD Hall of Honor in 2011.[1]

College

Gray was a two-time consensus first-team All-American at the University of Texas. During his career, he was known for being an especially hard hitter. He had 297 career tackles, 16 interceptions and 20 passes broken up and played on four bowl teams at Texas coached by Fred Akers. In 1996 he was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor.[2] In 2013, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[3]

Playing career

Gray was the Rams' first-round choice in the 1985 NFL Draft and played seven years in Los Angeles before finishing his career with the Oilers in 1992 and the Buccaneers in 1993.[4] He had 28 career interceptions, including six for the Oilers in 1992.[3]

Gray was selected to the Pro Bowl four times attending the game from 1986 through 1989. In his final appearance he earned Pro Bowl MVP honors after recording 7 tackles and a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown.[5]

In 2001, Gray was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but was not chosen as a semi-finalist.[6]

Coaching career

SMU

After retiring as a player, Gray turned to coaching. His coaching career began in 1995 as a defensive backs coach for the SMU Mustangs football team.

Tennessee Oilers/Titans

He then worked for the Tennessee Oilers as a Defensive Quality Control coach from 1997 to 1998 before being promoted to defensive backs coach in 1999 when the team name was changed from "Oilers" to "Titans".[7] He was with the team when they won the AFC Championship and went to Super Bowl XXXIV.

Buffalo Bills

In 2001, he was hired by former Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to run the Buffalo Bills defense the same year Williams left Tennessee to become the Buffalo Head Coach. He served as the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills from 2001 to 2005, where he oversaw one of the top defenses in the NFL until his final season. The Bills ranked 2nd in total defense in both 2003 and 2004.

Washington Redskins

After the 2005 season he was hired by the Washington Redskins to serve as their defensive backs coach [8][9][10]

Seattle Seahawks

On January 18, 2010, Gray was hired as the new defensive backs coach for the Seattle Seahawks where he coached the rookie safety tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.[11]

Texas

On January 17, 2011, Gray agreed to return to his alma mater Texas as the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach.[12]

Tennessee Titans (second stint)

On February 12, 2011, however, Gray rejoined the Titans as their defensive coordinator.

Minnesota Vikings

On January 22, 2014, Gray was hired as the new defensive backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay Packers

On January 29, 2020, Gray was hired as defensive backs coach for the Green Bay Packers. On March 1, 2021, Gray was promoted to defensive backs/passing game coordinator.

Atlanta Falcons

On January 31, 2023, Gray was hired as assistant head coach/defense for the Atlanta Falcons.

Personal life

Gray and his wife Sherry, also from Lubbock, have two sons together. The eldest was a defensive back for the SMU Mustangs.[13]

Gray started the Jerry Gray Foundation in 2002 and it continues to actively supports youth in Lubbock, providing scholarships in partnership with Texas Tech.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Jerry Gray Class of 2011". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  2. ^ "Jerry Gray Hall of Honor". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Barron, David (May 7, 2013). "Don Trull, Jerry Gray selected to College Football Hall of Fame". Chron.com. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  4. ^ "1985 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  5. ^ "The 1990 Pro Bowl". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  6. ^ "2001 NOMINEES FOR HALL OF FAME". Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  7. ^ "Titans DC Jerry Gray to interview for Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Head Coaching Job per Rick Stroud". January 3, 2012.
  8. ^ Doyel, Gregg (January 10, 2010). "Why bother with Rooney Rule if this is how it works?". CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  9. ^ Davis, Glenn (January 12, 2010). "Seahawks, Redskins Called Out On "Making Mockery" Of Rooney Rule". Mediaite, LLC. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  10. ^ Feinstein, John (December 31, 2009). "Redskins make a mockery of Rooney Rule". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  11. ^ "Sources: Gray to coach Seahawks' secondary". January 18, 2010.
  12. ^ "Jerry Gray named Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs Coach at Texas". January 17, 2011.
  13. ^ "Jeremy Gray Bio - SMUMUSTANGS.COM - The Official Athletic Site of SMU Mustangs". www.smumustangs.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013.
  14. ^ "Jerry Gray Foundation beneficiary still successful years later".