Saints head coach Sean Payton has added three more assistants to his staff as he moves closer to completing the full compliment. Continuing the trend, all three new assistants have considerable collegiate-level coaching experience, a trait nearly ubiquitous on the new staff.
Payton, himself a collegiate coach for nine years before breaking into the NFL in 1997, has brought a distinct collegiate atmosphere to the staff. His defensive and offensive coordinators have never held their positions in the NFL but have held the positions at the collegiate level. Special teams coach John Bonamego was a long time coach and recruiter at Army. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt breaks the mold - having coaching in the NFL without interruption since 1979.
The highest profile hire today is Miami (Ohio) head strength coach Dan Dalrymple, who worked with Payton at the university in 1994-5. A multiple winner and finalist for the national strength and conditioning coach of the year and certified as a master strength and conditioning coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, Dalrymple is as accomplished at the collegiate level as you can be in the weight room. He served as assistant athletic director for the university and was a four-year starter on the offensive line himself.
Atlanta Falcons defensive line assistant Dennis Allen will join the Saints in a similar role. With Atlanta for four years, Allen coached for six years at the collegiate level working in the secondary. John Morton arrives from the University of San Diego to be the Saints' passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. Prior to that Morton, 35, was with the Raiders organization as a player, scout, offensive assistant and tight ends coach.
The Saints are also linked to University of Miami receivers coach Curtis Johnson, according to the Miami Herald.
The New Orleans Saints have added three assistants to the staff of Head Coach Sean Payton, including Dennis Allen as Assistant Defensive Line Coach, Dan Dalrymple as Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and John Morton as Offensive Assistant/Passing Game Coach.
"These coaches bring energy and passion to what they do and we are pleased to have all three join our staff," said Payton. "All have distinguished themselves throughout their coaching careers. We are putting together a staff of dedicated coaches who know how to relate to players and are teachers. Each one of these guys brings those qualities to the table."
Assistant Defensive Line Coach Dennis Allen joins the Saints' staff after spending the last four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, including the last two as defensive assistant. He spent his first two seasons as the Falcons' defensive quality control coach. In his expanded role over the last two years, Allen worked with the defensive line. From 2002-03, he assisted with the secondary. Allen worked as the secondary coach at the University of Tulsa from 2000-01 and was a graduate assistant at Texas A&M for four years (1996-99). He played safety for the Aggies from 1992-95, starting the final 21 games of his career.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Dalrymple has spent the previous 16 years as Director of Athletic Conditioning at Miami of Ohio, where he was responsible for the workouts, development and fitness of all of the school's athletic programs. In 2004, he added the additional title of Assistant Athletic Director. Dalrymple is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is also a certified coach by USA Weightlifting. A former Mid-American Conference Strength Coach of the Year, he has been a finalist for the National Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2003. Dalrymple was a four-year starter on the offensive line at Miami of Ohio from 1983-86 and was an All-MAC selection his final two seasons. After serving for two years on the Red Hawks' coaching staff as a student assistant and then offensive line/strength coach, he was named strength and conditioning coordinator in 1989.
Offensive Assistant/Passing Game Coach John Morton served as Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach at the University of San Diego last year. Prior to the 2005 season, Morton worked for the Oakland Raiders for seven seasons, including 2004 as tight ends coach. Before being promoted to that post, Morton served for four years as an offensive assistant. Morton spent 1997 working in Oakland's player personnel department. In the spring of 1997, Morton played for the WLAF Frankfurt Galaxy. A standout at wide receiver at Western Michigan, he was initially signed by the Raiders in 1993 as an un-drafted free agent and spent part of that season and the next on the club's practice squad. He also had a stint on the Green Bay Packers' practice squad in 1993. Morton, 35, played for the CFL Toronto Argonauts from 1995-96.