New Orleans Saints All-Time Coaching Staff

New Orleans Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Former Saints assistant Jim Skipper. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Former Saints assistant Jim Skipper. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints All-Time Coaching Staff

Running Backs Coach: Jim Skipper (1986-1995)

Another offensive assistant who chose to follow Jim Mora from the USFL to New Orleans was Jim Skipper.

While directing the Saints running backs from 1986-1995, Skipper coached two backs who remain in the franchise’s top six rushers of all time in Dalton Hilliard (No. 4) and Reuben Mayes (No. 6), as well as an all-time fan favorite in Craig “Ironhead” Hayward.

Skipper oversaw a 1986 season in which Reuben Mayes ran for 1,353 yards on 286 carries, averaging 4.7 yards per attempt with eight touchdowns. Likewise for Dalton Hilliard’s 1989 campaign that saw the former LSU Tiger rush for 1,262 yards by way of a 3.7 yard average over 344 attempts, finishing with 13 touchdowns on the year.

Beyond Pro Bowlers Hilliard and Mayes, Skipper saw Hayward rush for 1,813 yards and 13 touchdowns during his five years with the team, while eliciting noteworthy performances from the further reaches of the Saints roster.

Included among these lesser-known exploits are the cumulative near-700 yards rushing on part of the team’s fullback Buford Jordan, the surprising performance of injury replacement Derek Brown in 1993, a strong rookie showing from Mario Bates in 1994, and signs of promise from the likes of Gill Fenerty, Vaughan Dunbar and Fred McAfee.

Skipper tutored running backs for five league teams over his 32 year NFL coaching career, during which he coached nine different 1,000 yard rushers and appeared in three Super Bowls.

Honorable Mention: John Levra (1981-1985), Dave Atkins (1996, 2000-2004)

New Orleans Saints All-Time Coaching Staff

Tight Ends Coach: Terry Malone (2006-2014)

Before he became Sean Payton’s first tight ends coach, Terry Malone had logged nearly a quarter century at the college level.

Following early stops at his alma mater Holy Cross , and a decade-long stretch at Bowling Green, Malone — who after a single season at Boston College and a weeks-long stop at Maryland where he would first work alongside Payton — reached the pinnacle of the collegiate game in his first season at Michigan, coaching the offensive line for the 1997 National Championship team.

Malone took over as the offensive coordinator in Ann Arbor following the 2001 season, and guided the team’s offense through a three year stretch in which the Wolverines won 29 of 38 games and reached the Rose Bowl in successive seasons.  Following a disappointing 2004 Michigan season, Malone found himself on the job market, and on the radar of his former colleague.

2006 saw Malone rejoin Payton in New Orleans, coaching tight ends on the Saints Super Bowl-winning 2009 staff.  Following their championship season, the Saints drafted a young, raw athletic prospect at the tight end position named Jimmy Graham.

Graham developed quickly under Malone’s tutelage, earning second-team All Pro status and a trip to the Pro Bowl in his second NFL season, and emerging as the first tight end to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.

In short order, Graham unleashed a four-year stretch in which he averaged an almost-otherworldly 1,099 yards and 11.5 touchdowns per season, leading the NFL in the latter category in 2013.  A season later, Graham and Malone left New Orleans together, with Graham as part of a trade with Seattle and Malone returning to the collegiate ranks.

Honorable Mention: Dan Campbell (2016-2020), Bruce Arians (1996)