January 19, 2017
Miami Dolphins Announce Coaching Changes
MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins today announced that Frank Bush has been hired as assistant head coach / linebackers coach, Darren Rizzi has been promoted to associate head coach / special teams coordinator and Chris Kuper has been promoted to assistant offensive line coach.
Bush has 32 years of NFL experience as a player, scout and coach. He spent the past four seasons as linebackers coach (2013-16) for the Los Angeles Rams and helped linebacker James Laurinaitis tally three 100-tackle seasons and set career highs with 3.5 sacks in 2013 and again in 2014. In 2016, linebacker Alec Ogletree had a career-best 136 tackles (98 solo) and tied his career highs with nine tackles for loss and two interceptions. The Rams allowed just 337.0 yards per game in 2016, the ninth-best mark in the NFL.
Bush began his NFL career as a fifth-round (133rd overall) selection of the Houston Oilers in the 1985 NFL draft. He started 11 games a rookie linebacker in 1985 but had to end his career in 1986 due to a career-threatening condition. He became a college scout for the Oilers in 1987 and moved into coaching in 1992, working with the team’s linebackers. Bush won two Super Bowls (XXXII and XXXIII) with the Denver Broncos (1995-2003). He also had stops in Arizona (2004-06), Houston (2007-10) and Tennessee (2011-12). Bush was the Texans’ defensive coordinator his final two seasons in Houston (2009-10).
Rizzi is the second longest-tenured coach on the Dolphins’ staff, having joined the team in 2009 as assistant special teams coach. He was promoted to special teams coach in 2010 and then special teams coordinator in 2011 before adding assistant head coach responsibilities in 2015. In 2016, Rizzi’s units blocked four kicks (three PATs and one punt), had three different touchdown returns (Jakeem Grant – punt, Kenyan Drake – kickoff, Walt Aikens – blocked punt) and had two players rank in the NFL’s top three for special teams tackles (Michael Thomas, T-1st, 19; Mike Hull, 3rd, 18). They also blocked a PAT that was returned for a 2-point conversion on Dec. 11, 2016 vs. Arizona, the first defensive 2-point conversion in team history. Miami had several top 10 special teams units, ranking No. 10 in field position following kickoffs, No. 8 in field position following kickoff returns and No. 3 in opponent gross punting average.
Kuper previously served as the team’s offensive quality control for the 2016 season where he primarily assisted with the offensive line. He helped the unit block for three 200-yard performances by running back Jay Ajayi, making Ajayi just the fourth NFL player to ever have three-plus 200-yard games in the same season. The offensive line also protected quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who posted the highest rating (93.5) and yards per attempt (7.70) of his five-year NFL career.