Tulane head coach Bob Toledo has promoted O'Neill Gilbert to the defensive coordinator for the Green Wave.
Feb. 8, 2008
New Orleans - Tulane University head football coach Bob Toledo announced today the promotion of O'Neill Gilbert to the position of defensive coordinator for the Green Wave. Gilbert replaces Thom Kaumeyer, who left Tulane for the University of Kentucky on Jan. 17.
Gilbert, 42, 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 this past Wednesday on national signing day for high school players.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to be the defensive coordinator and extend my career here at Tulane," Gilbert said. "I'm looking forward to coaching the young talent we have on the defensive side of the ball. I'm excited about the recruiting class we just signed and we feel good about our returners. I'm very appreciative of the opportunity Coach Toledo has given me and the responsibility he has entrusted in me with our defense. Our kids play hard and we will continue to play fast, and I believe it will be a fun year for us."
Gilbert returned to the college game when Toledo hired him as the defensive line coach in 2007. During his rookie season with the Green Wave, he helped TU's defensive 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 defensive among C-USA teams last season.
"O'Neill is deserving of this opportunity," Toledo said. "He has been a very hard worker for me since he arrived and his student-athletes play extremely hard for him. He has an abundance of experience at both the college and NFL levels, and it should be an easy transition for our 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, 41, 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 1990 and was a graduate assistant coach for the Aggies during the 1990 and 1991 campaigns.