Detroit Lions finalize coaching and strength staffs
Allen Park — More than two months after beginning the overhaul, the Detroit Lions have finalized the team's coaching and strength staffs for the 2020 season. The team announced the full staffing setup on Friday.
Included in the announcement were five new hires and three internal promotions.
Josh Schuler will replace Harold Nash as the team's head of strength and conditioning. Schuler joined the Lions staff in 2016, after a four-year stint as an assistant stretch coach for Navy's football program. He's also worked at the University of Colorado (2010-12) and Auburn (08-09)
Schuler's assistants are two new hires, Morris Henry and Tom Kanavy.
Henry, a former college defensive back, spent the past four seasons working as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Auburn. Kanavy, meanwhile, has extensive NFL experience having worked on the strength and conditioning staffs in Tennessee (2015-18), Minnesota (2006-13) and Philadelphia (1995-2005). He spent last year serving as the director of sports performance at Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance.
As for the coaching staff, the Lions announced Ben Johnson and Steve Gregory will be promoted to coaching the tight ends and defensive backs, respectively, while Tyrone McKenzie will handle the team's linebackers after two seasons with the Titans.
Johnson joined Detroit's staff last season as an offensive assistant. Prior to that he worked in various roles for the Miami Dolphins from 2012-18, including one season coaching the team's tight ends.
Gregory, a former safety, had an eight-year NFL playing career before transitioning into coaching. He finished his career playing in New England, where Lions coach Matt Patricia was his defensive coordinator.
Gregory has been a defensive assistant in Detroit the past two seasons.
Patricia previously acknowledged the addition of McKenzie more than a month ago, but noted his role on the staff was still being determined. Like Gregory, McKenzie was coached by Patricia during his playing career. A third-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2009, he played in two NFL seasons.
The final newcomers to Detroit's staff are Tony Carter and Ty Warren.
Carter will essentially backfill Gregory's spot as a defensive assistant. Carter played eight seasons in the NFL, including a one-year stop in New England. He most recently worked as a defensive backs coach at Jacksonville University.
Warren, a former defensive tackle selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 2003 Draft, earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2007 and won two Super Bowls with the franchise.
He joins the team as part of the the William Clay Ford Minority Coaching Assistantship program after working as a volunteer assistant for the Lions during the 2019 season.
Below is the full coaching staff:
► Matt Patricia – Head Coach
► Darrell Bevell – Offensive Coordinator
► Cory Undlin – Defensive Coordinator
► Brayden Coombs – Special Teams Coordinator
► Kyle Caskey – Running Backs
► Tony Carter – Defensive Assistant
► David Corrao – Director of Football Research
► Bo Davis – Defensive Line
► Hank Fraley – Offensive Line
► Steve Gregory – Defensive Backs
► Morris Henry – Assistant Strength & Conditioning
► Ben Johnson – Tight Ends
► Tom Kanavy – Assistant Strength & Conditioning
► Tyrone McKenzie - Linebackers
► Robert Prince – Wide Receivers
► Evan Rothstein – Head Coach Assistant/Research & Analysis
► Sean Ryan – Quarterbacks
► Josh Schuler – Head Strength & Conditioning
► Stephen Thomas – Defensive Quality Control
► Ty Warren – WCF Minority Coaching Assistantship
► Leon Washington - WCF Minority Coaching Assistantship/Offense & Special Teams
► Marquice Williams – Assistant Special Teams
► Billy Yates – Assistant Offensive Line