Mack Brown said in his Pre-Spring State of the Program press conference last week that he was looking to add one last member to this 2023 staff. The goal was to get someone to sign on to a similar role to what Clyde Christensen will be on the offensive side of the ball and Inside Carolina’s Greg Barnes reported that person would be someone that could help the defensive front.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Tar Heels found that guy. As first reported by Inside Carolina, Ted Monachino, a 26-year coaching veteran, will be joining the staff as a defensive analyst. He comes to Chapel Hill after spending the last two seasons as the outside linebackers coach for the Atlanta Falcons. In those two seasons, the Falcons did struggle to get consistent production out of the outside linebackers, but he wasn’t exactly dealing with the most star studded group.
His other stops in the NFL were much more successful than his time in Atlanta. Monachino started his pro coaching career back in 2006 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his four seasons there, he had some nice success with the help of veteran guys like Paul Spicer and John Henderson anchoring the group.
He was fired by Jacksonville after a rough final two seasons, but he would land on his feet in Baltimore. He would spend the next six seasons there, coaching guys like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil to some of the most successful seasons of his career. Suggs had four of his seven double-digit sack seasons, landed Pro Bowl honors three times and won AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 under the tutelage of Monachino. Dumervil, meanwhile, had three really solid seasons, including back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons and a career year in 2014 where he finished with 17.0 sacks and 32.0 tackles for loss.
Monachino would leave Baltimore for the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator job after the 2015 season. In his two seasons in that role, the Colts had one of the worst defenses in the league, finishing outside of the top 20 of every defensive major category. His struggles combined with the fall off of the team’s offense after the retirement of Andrew Luck were what ultimately led to the end of the Chuck Pagano era.
After being let go from Indianapolis, he went back down to the college ranks for a season, which he spent at Missouri. In his lone season with the team, the Tigers finished with 73.0 tackles for loss and 27.0 sacks. Both of those numbers were middle of the pack nationally, but they would easily be a major improvement from where the Tar Heels finished in 2022.
After his short stint in Columbia, Monachino headed back to the NFL level as an offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears under Pagano who took over as the team’s defensive coordinator. He spent those two seasons with the Bears, overseeing the group led by Khalil Mack, whom he helped continue his streak of consecutive Pro Bowls. He was let go from the team after the 2020 season following the retirement of Pagano.
Prior to his NFL coaching career, he spent ten seasons at the college level in various. He bounced around early in that stretch, with a two-year stint at TCU as a defensive graduate assistant, followed by single-year stints at James Madison, Missouri State and Boise State. He spent his final five seasons at the college level with the Arizona State Sun Devils as their defensive line coach. He was a key part of helping develop Suggs in the final three years of his collegiate career, coaching him to one of the most dominant defensive seasons in the history of the sport. In 2002, Suggs finished with an NCAA single-season record 24 sacks, a record that still stands to this day. He won the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Ted Hendricks Award, and the Vince Lombardi Award for his efforts. He also earned unanimous first-team All-American recognition and was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Monachino is another really good addition to this staff by Mack Brown this offseason. Like with Christensen, he won’t be nearly as involved as a position coach would be, but just having him in the room to help generate more creative ways to get pressure on the quarterback is huge.