Saturday, June 15, 2024

This former W&M Football standout is now the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator

Mark Duffner during practice at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Florida. (Kyle Zedaker/ Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Mark Duffner during practice at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Florida. (Kyle Zedaker/ Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Former William & Mary standout defensive lineman Mark Duffner ’75 was named defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday.

A member of the W&M Athletics Hall of Fame (Class of 1991), Duffner has 22 years of NFL coaching experience, which includes two seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator (2001-02).

Most recently, Duffner has served as the Bucs linebackers coach since 2016. He replaced Mike Smith, who had served in that role since 2016.

Duffner’s other duties in the NFL include stints with the Bengals as linebackers coach (1997-00), as well as the Green Bay Packers (2003-05), Jacksonville Jaguars (2006-13) and Miami Dolphins (2014-15).

Bucs Head Coach Dirk Koetter, who also previously worked with Smith in Atlanta while Smith was the Falcons’ head coach, stressed that the Buccaneers’ current rankings of 31st in yards allowed and 32nd in points allowed should not be blamed on any one person.

“I have the utmost respect for Mike Smith as a man and as a football coach,” Koetter said in a news release. “These decisions are always difficult, but our top priority here is to ensure that we do everything possible to help this team succeed. As I have said in the past, the issues we have had as a team are never one person’s fault. During good times, as well as the bad, it is a collective effort between the coaches and the players. We all understand that this is a result-based profession and our results to this point have not met our standards. I want to thank Mike for all the hard work and passion he has displayed here on a daily basis and I wish him well moving forward.”

The Buccaneers are 2-3 and two games behind New Orleans in the NFC South race. Tampa Bay’s offense ranks second in the league in yards per game, first in passing yards per game and seventh in points per game.

Prior to the NFL, Duffner served as head coach at the University of Maryland and Holy Cross, while he was an assistant at Ohio State and Cincinnati.

A standout for the Tribe, Duffner was a defensive lineman at W&M from 1972-74.

Duffner’s promotion further bolsters W&M’s presence in the NFL coaching ranks, which is highlighted by Mike Tomlin ’95, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, and Sean McDermott ’98, Buffalo Bills head coach.

The group also includes former Tribe assistants Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons head coach, and Brian Daboll, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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