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Patriots Announce New Additions to Coaching Staff

17 new additions to Coach Jerod Mayo's staff have been announced.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Earlier this month, the New England Patriots announced three new coordinators on Patriots Head Coach Jerod Mayo's staff with the additions of Alex Van Pelt (offensive coordinator), Jeremy Springer (special teams coordinator) and the promotion of DeMarcus Covington (defensive coordinator). Today, 17 new additions to Coach Mayo's staff have been announced. The offensive coaches joining Van Pelt include Bob Bicknell as tight ends coach, Taylor Embree as running backs coach, Tyler Hughes as wide receivers coach, Robert Kugler as assistant offensive line coach, Ben McAdoo as senior offensive assistant, Michael McCarthy as offensive coaching assistant/quality control, T.C. McCartney as quarterbacks coach, Scott Peters as offensive line coach, and Tiquan Underwood as assistant wide receivers coach. Defensively, the Patriots have added Vinny DePalma as defensive coaching assistant/quality control, Dont'a Hightower as inside linebackers coach, Jamael Lett as defensive coaching assistant/quality control, Jerry Montgomery as defensive line coach and Drew Wilkins as outside linebackers coach. Two assistants joining Springer on special teams are Tom Quinn as special teams assistant coach and Coby Tippett as special teams coaching assistant/quality control. In addition, Brian McDonough was hired as the assistant strength and conditioning coach.

A brief description of each of the new assistant coaches being announced today is listed below (in alphabetical order):


Bicknell joins the Patriots as tight ends coach after serving two seasons as a senior offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints (2022-23). The Holliston, Mass. native returns to New England following a 30-year coaching career which began at his alma mater, Boston College, in 1993. Prior to his role at the Saints, Bicknell spent three seasons (2018-20) with the Cincinnati Bengals coaching wide receivers. He held the same role at Baylor in 2017. Bicknell spent a year with the San Francisco 49ers (2016) and three seasons with both the Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15) and Buffalo Bills (2010-12) after beginning his NFL coaching career at the Kansas City Chiefs (2007-09). Prior to the NFL, Bicknell spent time coaching at Temple University (2006) following seven seasons coaching overseas in NFL Europe with the Cologne Centurions (2004-05), Berlin Thunder (2000-03) and Frankfurt Galaxy (1998-99). Bicknell played tight end at Boston College (1989-91). His father, Jack Sr., was the head coach at Boston College from 1981 to 1990.


DePalma joins New England as a defensive assistant following a six-year college career playing linebacker at Boston College. The Wayne, N.J. native earned the Swede Nelson Award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston for sportsmanship, academics and athletic achievement in 2022.


Embree joins the Patriots as running backs coach following three seasons in the same position with the New York Jets (2021-23). Prior to his time with the Jets, he spent a year coaching tight ends at Colorado (2020). Embree entered the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs (2016) followed by three seasons as an offensive quality control coach with the San Francisco 49ers (2017-19). Embree started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UNLV in 2012 and continued in the same role at his alma mater UCLA (2013-14). Embree played wide receiver at UCLA and signed with the San Diego Chargers as a rookie free agent in 2012, but was released prior to the start of the regular season.


Hightower enters his first season as a coach after a nine-year career as a linebacker with the Patriots. Hightower joined New England as a first-round draft pick (25th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama. He was a three-time Super Bowl Champion, four-time team captain, two-time Pro Bowler and was selected to the team's 2010s All-Decade team. Overall, he played in 117 regular season games with 114 starts and registered 569 total tackles, 27 sacks, one interception, 18 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown in his first NFL game. Hightower also played and started in 17 postseason games, adding 81 total tackles, three sacks, one interception, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Hightower made two Super Bowl altering plays during his career and was part of a record-setting per­formance in another. In Super Bowl XLIX vs. Seattle, Hightower made a crucial tackle on Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch at the 1-yard line on the play before CB Malcolm Butler intercepted Seattle QB Russell Wilson to seal the victory in the waning moments of the game. New England trailed the Atlanta Falcons, 28-12, midway through the fourth quarter when Hightower strip-sacked Falcons QB Matt Ryan at the Atlanta 25-yard line. The fumble was recovered by the Patriots and the turnover led to a touchdown that helped spark the record come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl LI. He led a defensive unit in the Super Bowl LIII win over the L.A. Rams, recording two sacks and a pass defensed as part of a stifling defense that became the second team in Super Bowl history to hold its opponent to just three points.


Hughes returns to New England after spending three seasons with the Patriots (2020-22) as an offense assistant. He spent the 2023 season at the University of Washington as a quality control coach on offense. Prior to joining New England in 2020, Hughes spent two seasons (2018-19) as the head coach at Bountiful High School in Utah. Before that position, he spent three seasons (2014-16) as head coach of the Division II Minot State in North Dakota. He came to Minot State after spending the 2013 season at Ohio State, where he served as a quality control assistant and also worked with the quarterbacks. Hughes spent nine seasons at Snow College as head coach (2011-12), offensive coordinator (2005-10) and wide receivers/tight ends coach (2004). Hughes played wide receiver at Snow College during his collegiate career.


Robert Kugler joins the Patriots as an assistant offensive line coach after spending the 2022 and 2023 seasons in the same role for the Carolina Panthers. Kugler got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant and tight ends coach in 2017 at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He spent two seasons (2018-19) as a graduate assistant at the University of Washington before becoming the offensive quality control coach at Appalachian State in 2020. In his sole season at Appalachian State, Kugler helped lead the Mountaineers to an average of 265.6 rushing yards per game, ranking sixth in the FBS. Kugler's first NFL job came in 2021 when he was hired as an assistant offensive line coach for the Houston Texans. Kugler played college football at Purdue (2012-15), where he was a two-time team captain and started 43 consecutive games at center. Prior to beginning his coaching career, he signed as a rookie free agent in 2016 with the Buffalo Bills and spent the offseason with the team.


Lett joins the Patriots as a defensive assistant following a season as a special teams analyst at the University of North Carolina. Prior to that, he spent two seasons as special teams coordinator and defensive assistant at the University of South Alabama (2021-22). Lett spent six seasons coaching at the collegiate level and two seasons coaching high school prior to his position with South Alabama. Lett was an assistant coach at Akron (2020), Samford (2017-19), a graduate assistant at Ohio (2016), assistant coach at Tennessee-Martin, Davidson (Ala.) High (2014) and Brainerd (Tenn.) High (2013). A native of Fairfield, Calif., Lett played defensive back at Samford (2006-10) and recorded 110 tackles, four interceptions, 16 pass breakups and two forced fumbles.


McAdoo has 17 years of experience in the NFL, including two seasons as head coach of the New York Giants (2016-17). Most recently, McAdoo served as the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers in 2022. He originally joined the NFL as an offensive quality control coach with the New Orleans Saints in 2004 and then joined the San Francisco 49ers in 2005 as an assistant offensive line and quality control coach. In 2006, he joined Mike McCarthy with the Green Bay Packers as tight ends coach (2006-11) and then as quarterbacks coach (2012-13). In 2014, McAdoo was hired by the New York Giants as offensive coordinator for two seasons (2014-15) before being hired as the 17th head coach in Giants history. He led the Giants to an 11-5 season and a playoff berth in 2016. McAdoo served as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, was a consultant with the Dallas Cowboys in 2021 and the offensive coordinator for Carolina in 2022. He began his coaching career as a high school coach while attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, he became a graduate assistant at Michigan State (2001), followed by coaching stops at Fairfield University (2002) and the University of Pittsburgh (2003) before joining the Saints.


McCarthy joins the Patriots after spending the last five seasons as the offensive line coach at Brown (2019-23). He is re-joining the NFL after spending the 2008 season with the New York Jets as a scouting and video intern, the 2015 season with the Cleveland Browns as an offensive quality control coach and two seasons with the Detroit Lions (2016-17) as an offensive quality control coach and assistant offensive line coach. Prior to joining Brown, McCarthy spent the 2018 season on the staff at Rutgers as an offensive assistant. He also spent time with the College of New Jersey (2009), Western Michigan (2010), Tulane (2012-13) and North Carolina Central (2014).


McCartney joins New England after spending the last four seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2020-23), first as an offensive assistant (2020-21) and then the last two seasons (2022-23) as the tight ends coach. Following his playing career as a quarterback at Louisiana State (2007-10), McCartney began his coaching career as a graduate assistant/offensive assistant coach with LSU in 2011. He continued as a graduate assistant/offensive assistant coach at Colorado for two seasons (2012-13), before serving as an offensive assistant with Cleveland in 2014. McCartney then served as a quality control coach with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, returned to LSU as a graduate assistant/offensive assistant coach in 2016, then returned to the 49ers for two seasons as an offensive assistant/quality control coach (2017-18). He spent the 2019 season as the quarterbacks coach with the Denver Broncos before re-joining Cleveland in 2020.


McDonough joins New England on a full-time basis in 2024 after working with the team as a consultant for over 20 years. He owned a sports performance business that worked with high school, collegiate and professional athletes in strength and conditioning. McDonough played football at UMass-Dartmouth. He holds a master's degree in applied exercise science with a concentration in strength and conditioning.


Montgomery joins New England after spending the last nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers (2015-23), including the last two seasons as the defensive line/running game coordinator (2022-23). Prior to that position, he spent four seasons (2018-21) as the defensive line coach and three seasons (2015-17) as the defensive front assistant. Montgomery joined the Packers after coaching at the collegiate level for 11 seasons and high school level for two seasons. He began his coaching career as a student assistant at Iowa in 2002. Montgomery continued coaching as an assistant at Iowa City West High School (2000-04) and as the defensive coordinator at North Iowa Community College (2005). He spent three seasons at Northern Iowa (2006-08), followed by two seasons each at Wyoming (2009-10), Michigan (2011-12) and Oklahoma (2013-14), before joining the Green Bay Packers. Montgomery played defensive tackle at Iowa (1998-2001), starting three of his four years in college. He went to training camp with the New Orleans Saints in 2002 and played in the Arena Football League with the Chicago Rush, Colorado Crush and Las Vegas Gladiators from 2003 through 2005.


Peters joins New England after spending the last four seasons (2020-23) as the assistant offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns. He played both center and guard during his seven seasons as a player in the NFL after being drafted in the fourth round (124th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Arizona State. Peters played with the Eagles (2002), New York Giants (2003), San Francisco 49ers (2004), Carolina Panthers (2006) and Arizona Cardinals (2007-09). After retiring from the NFL in 2009, he founded "Tip of the Spear," a program for athletic training, before launching his coaching career.


Quinn joins New England as a special teams assistant after serving as a special teams assistant in 2023 with the Tennessee Titans. He was named the interim special teams coordinator for the Titans for the final month of the year. Prior to Tennessee, Quinn held special teams roles for 16 seasons at the New York Giants (2006-21). He joined the NFL after a 15-year college coaching career. He spent time at Stanford (2002-05), San Jose State (1999-01), Holy Cross (1996-98), Boston University (1995), James Madison (1992-94) and Davidson (1991). During his time at Standford and San Jose State, he coached on all sides of the ball, coaching tight ends, special teams and linebackers. He held a defensive coordinator role at both Holy Cross and Boston University. He started his career as a linebackers coach at Davidson. Quinn played linebacker at Arizona (1986-90).


Tippett joins New England as special teams coaching assistant following a season coaching cornerbacks at Tufts University in 2023. He spent time as a coaching assistant during the Patriots 2023 training camp. Tippett played defensive back and was a punt returner at the University of Rhode Island and Towson University. At URI, he earned first-team All-CAA honors as a punt returner and third-team honors at safety. His father, Andre Tippett, is a Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer who played for the Patriots (1982-93) and currently serves as the executive director of community affairs for the organization.


Underwood joins the Patriots as assistant wide receivers coach. He spent six seasons coaching at the collegiate and NFL levels following an eight-year playing career in the NFL and CFL. Underwood's NFL career included a season with New England in 2011. Underwood most recently spent two seasons as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh (2022-23). Prior to that position, he was the wide receivers coach at Rutgers (2020-21), served as the offensive quality control coach at the Miami Dolphins (2019) and coached wide receivers at Lafayette (2018). Underwood began his playing career after he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round (253rd overall) of the 2009 NFL draft out of Rutgers. He spent two seasons in Jacksonville (2009-10) before signing with the Patriots in 2011. Underwood spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-13) and Carolina Panthers (2014) before playing three seasons in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2015-16) and Montreal Alouettes (2016-17).


Wilkins joins New England as outside linebackers coach after spending the last two seasons as the outside linebackers coach with the New York Giants (2022-23). Prior to his time with the Giants, Wilkins spent 12 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. During his time in Baltimore, he spent time as outside linebackers coach (2020-21), outside linebackers/assistant defensive line coach (2018-19), assistant defensive line coach (2017), defensive assistant (2014-16), football coaching staff assistant (2013), football video operations coordinator (2012) and as a football video operations intern (2010-11). Prior to his time in Baltimore, Wilkins spent time as a student assistant while earning his degree at the University of Maryland (2006-09). A native of Abington, Pa., Wilkens earned a double major in finance and supply chain management at Maryland.

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