Todd Howard coached the defensive line for one season at Cal in 2012, marking his 21st consecutive campaign of coaching at the NFL and collegiate levels.
Members of Howard's 2012 defensive line were significant contributors to some of the Bears highest national rankings in the big play categories of tackles for loss (T35th, 6.42 tflpg), total turnovers caused (T36th, 23) and sacks (38th, 2.33 spg). Deandre Coleman led the way among Cal defensive linemen in 2012 with career highs of 8.5 tackles for loss (-32 yards) to rank tied for first on the team and 3.0 sacks (-20 yards) to rank tied for third. He also led all defensive linemen with a career-high 48 tackles, while adding one pass breakup, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. Aaron Tipoti (31) and Kendrick Payne (28) also had career highs for tackles under Howard in their 2012 season, with Payne adding career highs in tackles for loss (4.5, -20 yards) and sacks (3.5, -18 yards) while Tipoti had a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry. The 2012 defense keyed Cal's strongest stretch of the season by holding South Division champion UCLA and Washington State to 17 points each in back-to-back victories.
Howard most recently spent the 2011 campaign as the defensive line coach at Washington State, where he tutored second-team All-Pac-12 selection Travis Long on a vastly improved Cougar team.
Prior to arriving in Pullman, Howard was at UCLA as the defensive line coach and associate head coach on defense with the Bruins going to bowls during three of the first four years of his tenure. He coached three first-team All-Americans in Bruce Davis, Justin Hickman and Brian Price, the latter earning 2009 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors and a two-year NFL veteran with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into the 2012 season. Davis was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft and most recently played for the Oakland Raiders in 2011. After originally signing as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins in 2007, Hickman made a name for himself in the Canadian Football League by recording 27.0 sacks over the last three seasons (2009-11) with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hickman posted 13.0 sacks in 2011 to earn CFL All-Star honors for the first time and signed a contract with his current NFL team the Indianapolis Colts in February of 2012.
In 2010, Howard mentored All-Pac-10 freshmen honorees Cassius Marsh and Owamagbe Odighizuwa in his final season with the Bruins. Price recorded 23.5 tackles for loss in 2009, the highest total ever by a Bruin lineman. In addition, defensive ends Korey Bosworth and Datone Jones combined for 25.0 tackles for loss, with Jones earning honorable mention Sophomore All-American honors. Price earned first-team All-Pac-10 and Sophomore All-America honors in 2008, ranking seventh in the conference with 14.0 tackles for loss. Brigham Harwell was a second-team All-Pac-10 pick in 2008, while Bosworth ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in sacks (7.5). In 2007, UCLA ranked 14th in the nation in rush defense (109.15 ypg) and 29th in total defense (343.23 ypg). In addition, the 2007 defense was second nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.77 tflpg) and tied for 15th in sacks per game (3.0 spg). Davis paced the team and tied for the Pac-10 lead with 12.0 sacks, while totaling 15.5 tackles for loss. Davis' two-year total of 24.5 sacks in 2006 and 2007 was second only to Dave Ball (27.5, 2002-03) at the time for the most-ever by a Bruin in back-to-back seasons. In his first season at UCLA in 2006, the line showed marked improvement. The Bruins were ranked tied for ninth in the nation and led the Pac-10 in rush defense (91.08 ypg) and 33rd nationally in total defense (304.83 ypg). Hickman and Davis tied for first in the conference and fourth in the nation with 12.5 sacks.
Howard served for three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-05 as the assistant defensive line coach. The Jaguars finished 12-4 during the regular season to earn a spot in the NFL Playoffs in his final campaign, with the defense leading the NFL in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed with four. The same squad ranked tied for third in the league with 47.0 sacks, sixth in total defense (290.9 ypg), seventh in passing defense (184.1 ypg) and 14th in rushing defense (106.8 ypg). Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud earned All-Pro honors and Pro Bowl selections in each of Howard's three seasons in Jacksonville. John Henderson was chosen for the Pro Bowl following the 2004 campaign.
His other NFL coaching experience came as a defensive assistant for two campaigns with the St. Louis Rams (1998-99), who won Super Bowl XXXIV in Howard's second season. In addition, he was a member of the NFL's minority coaching program with the Washington Redskins during the team's 1997 training camp, helping on defense. He also performed a minority coaching internship with the San Diego Chargers in 2002.
Before his stints at UCLA and Washington State, Howard coached collegiately at Louisiana Tech (2000-02), Grinnell College in Iowa (1994-97) and his alma mater Texas A&M (1991-93), where he was a member of a staff that captured three Southwest Conference titles. The Aggies posted a 32-5 overall record and a 25-0 SWC mark with Howard on board, playing in the Cotton Bowl all three seasons. The 2001 team he coached at Louisiana Tech also took home the Western Athletic Conference crown and played in the Humanitarian Bowl. Howard was hired as the associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Southwest Texas State in 2003 before leaving to join the Jaguars.
A third-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1987, Howard played in the NFL for two seasons as an inside linebacker and on special teams. He also spent one season with the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football in 1991 and was on the squad's injured reserve throughout the 1992 season.
Howard earned bachelor's degree in sociology from Texas A&M in 1991 and his master's degree in human resources from the same school in 1995. He was an all-conference and honorable mention All-America selection with the Aggies, starting at linebacker for three seasons (1984-86) on teams which won a pair of Southwest Conference titles.
Howard has three children: Trey, David and Ava.
LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2012