Jan. 21, 2012
BERKELEY - Todd Howard has agreed to become the defensive line coach at California, Golden Bear head coach Jeff Tedford announced Saturday. Howard has a combined 20 years of coaching experience at the NFL and collegiate levels.
"I'm excited to have Todd Howard as our defensive line coach," Tedford said. "He has a tremendous amount of experience as both a coach and player at the NFL and collegiate level. We've had an opportunity to play against several of the teams he has coached in the past, and I've always been impressed by the way his defensive line has played. He is also consistent with what we stand for at Cal and will be an excellent mentor to our student-athletes athletically, academically and socially."
"This is an outstanding opportunity for me to work with Jeff Tedford and the Cal football program," Howard said. "Cal teams always play hard and are well coached, and I believe that my coaching experience and knowledge will be an asset to the program. I am familiar with this conference and coaching the defensive line at this level."
Howard 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 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 now a two-year NFL veteran with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Davis was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 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 has made a name for himself in the Canadian Football League by recording 27.0 sacks over the last three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hickman posted 13.0 sacks in 2011 to earn CFL All-Star honors for the first time.
In 2010, Howard mentored All-Pac-10 freshmen honorees Cassius Marsh and Owamagbe Odighizuwa in his final season with the Bruins in 2010. 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. In 2008, Price earned first-team All-Pac-10 and Sophomore All-America honors. He ranked seventh in the Pac-10 with 14.0 tackles for loss. Brigham Harwell was a second-team All-Pac-10 pick and Bosworth ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in sacks (7.5). In 2007, UCLA ranked 14th in the nation in rush defense (109.2 ypg) and 29th in total defense (343.23 ypg). In addition, the 2007 defense ranked second nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.77 tflpg) and tied for 15th in sacks per game (3.0 spg). Davis led the team with 12.0 sacks (T1st Pac-10) and 15.5 tackles for loss. Davis' two-year total of 24.5 sacks in 2006 and '07 is second only to Dave Ball (27.5 in '02,'03) 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 (tied) in the nation and led the Pac-10 in rush defense (91.08 ypg) and 33rd nationally in total defense (304.83). Hickman and Davis tied for first in the conference and fourth in the nation with 12.5 quarterback sacks.
Howard served for three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-05 as the assistant defensive line coach. The Jaguars finished 12-4 in the regular season to earn a spot in the NFL Playoffs in his final season, with the defense leading the NFL in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (four) during his final season. The same squad ranked tied for third in the league with 47.0 quarterback 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 an alternate 2005 Pro Bowl pick after playing in the game the previous season.
His other NFL coaching experience came as a defensive assistant for two campaigns (1998-99) with the St. Louis Rams, 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 playing for 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 is a 1991 graduate of Texas A&M with a bachelor's degree in sociology and received his master's degree in human resources from the same university 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 conference titles.
Howard has three children: Trey, David and Ava.
Cal football will return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012, opening its season at home against Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 1. The Bears' seven-game home slate will also feature Pac-12 contests against Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference tilt against Southern Utah. The Bears have road trips to Ohio State, Oregon State, USC, Utah and Washington State.
For more information on the stadium and season-ticket options for 2012, visit CaliforniaMemorialStadium.com.