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Gibbs hired as Saints defensive coordinator

NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 23, 2006) -- New Saints coach Sean Payton hired Cowboys assistant Gary Gibbs as defensive coordinator.

Gibbs was the linebackers coach in Dallas for the last four seasons. He worked alongside Payton, who was the Cowboys' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the last three years.

"When I was introduced last week I said that I wanted to bring teachers in who were looking to work hard, enjoy their work and be part of a team with everyone moving in the same direction," Payton said. "Gary defines that description. Getting him in New Orleans sets the tone for the rest of the additions to my coaching staff."

Gibbs, 53, is the first assistant to be hired by Payton. He will take over for Rick Venturi, who remained employed by the Saints Jan. 23.

Before joining the Cowboys, Gibbs was LSU's defensive coordinator under then-head coach Nick Saban in 2001, when LSU won the SEC title and the Sugar Bowl.

Gibbs, who played linebacker for Oklahoma in the early 1970s, went on to become the Sooners' defensive coordinator under Barry Switzer and took over as head coach from 1989-94, leaving with a record of 44-23-2.

"Gary stresses the fundamentals and has a sound philosophy on what he expects from a defense, but he doesn't allow that to take away from aggressiveness that you look for that is necessary to make plays," Payton said.

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