O'Neill Gilbert begins his second season at Tulane in 2008, but enters his first campaign as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Green Wave. He coached TU's defensive line during his rookie season of 2007, but was promoted to his current role prior to spring drills.
Gilbert will take over a defensive unit that made large strides in 2007, and returns 24 letterwinners, including seven starters, for the 2008 campaign. The Green Wave signed 11 defensive newcomers during the national signing day for high school players last spring.
During his rookie season with the Green Wave, he helped TU's defensive unit improve from the ninth-best team in Conference USA in rushing defense in 2006 to the league leader in the same category in 2007, and the Wave also ranked third in total sacks in 2007, and was fourth in total defense among C-USA teams last season.
Gilbert, 43, returned to the college game in 2007 after coaching in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills in 2002 and 2003, and spent time with the Seattle Seahawks in 2006. He also coached with the Tennessee Titans from 1997-2000 and was the linebacker coach on the Titans' AFC Championship and Super Bowl team.
Prior to Tulane, he coached in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills in 2002 and 2003, and spent time with the Seattle Seahawks summer camp in 2006. He also coached with the Tennessee Titans from 1997-2000 and was the linebacker coach on the Titans' AFC Championship and Super Bowl team. He did not coach in 2004 and 2005.
Previously, His most recent stint in the college ranks was at the University of Cincinnati from 2001-02. Prior to Cincinnati, he was the outside linebacker coach at the University of Illinois from 1997-2000, where he coached a pair of All-America linebackers and NFL top five draft picks- Kevin Hardy and Simeon Rice.
Gilbert spent four years at UNLV as the outside linebacker coach from 1992-93 and was the defensive line coach from 1993-95. He helped the Rebels to the Las Vegas Bowl in 1994.
Gilbert broke into college coaching at Navarro (Texas) Junior College as the defensive line and outside linebackers coach from 1991-92, and helped the team to the junior college Dixie Bowl title in 1991.
A four-year letterwinner at Texas A&M University from 1985-88, Gilbert led the Aggies to three straight Southwest Conference titles (1986-88) and Cotton Bowl championships in 1986 and 1988. He spent one season in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers in 1989 as a defensive lineman.
Gilbert earned his bachelor's degree in education from Texas A&M in 1989 and was a graduate assistant coach for the Aggies during the 1990 and 1991 campaigns.
Gilbert and his wife, Patsy, reside in New Orleans.