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 Saint assistant Vic Fangio.  Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.
Former Saint assistant Vic Fangio.  Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. /

New Orleans Saints All-Time Coaching Staff

Linebackers Coach: Vic Fangio (1986-1994)

Aside from Payton as head coach, there is no easier inclusion on a Saints all-time coaching staff than that of linebackers coach Vic Fangio.

If coordinator Steve Sidwell was the architect of the legendary Dome Patrol, Fangio was its beating heart.

One of seven coaches on Mora’s initial Saints staff to have followed him from the USFL in 1986, Fangio was 28 years old and two seasons removed from serving as a college grad assistant at North Carolina when he arrived in New Orleans.

The Saints defense improved 20 ranking spots (No. 22 to No. 7) in yards allowed in Fangio’s inaugural campaign, and were a top five NFL defense by his second season as part of the Saints staff.

From 1986 to 1992, Fangio presided over a high point in franchise and league history at the position he coached. Known as the Dome Patrol, the team’s four-man starting unit of outside linebackers Rickey Jackson and Pat Swilling alongside inside ‘backers Sam Mills and Vaughan Johnson, combined for 18 Pro Bowls with the Saints and was ranked the top such unit in league history by the NFL Network.

The Saints won 62 games during the seven seasons that the team’s star linebackers patrolled the Dome, reaching the postseason four times, including the club’s first playoff appearance in 1987.

Honorable Mention: J.D. Roberts (1967-1968), John Bunting (2000)

New Orleans Saints All-Time Coaching Staff

Defensive Backs: Jim Mora Jr. (1992-1996)

Jim L. Mora, known colloquially as Jim Mora Jr., owns a claim to New Orleans Saints royalty by way of his namesake father, who was the original patron Saint of football success in New Orleans.

Beyond his birthright, it is Mora Jr.’s body of work as secondary coach on his father’s staff that leads him to this all-time listing.

The junior Mora had four years of NFL coaching experience, three as defensive backs coach for the San Diego Chargers, when two unrelated events half a nation apart would clear a path for him to New Orleans.

Though San Diego posted two top-ten rankings (No. 4 in 1989, No. 9 in 1990) in pass defense during Mora’s three year tenure, perhaps the young secondary coach’s greatest contribution with the Chargers was his development of current Chargers Hall of Fame member Gill Byrd.

Byrd, despite being the Chargers’ first round pick in 1983, had been a middling performer in San Diego until joining forces with the team’s young new secondary coach in 1988. On the heels of a 1987 season in which Byrd had recorded nary an interception, he snagged seven picks in his first season under Mora’s tutelage.

Byrd went on to average 6.75 interceptions per season spent with Mora, earning first and second team All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl appearance during their time together.

Mora Jr. was jettisoned from San Diego along with the rest of Chargers head coach Dan Henning’s staff following the 1991 season, which coincided with Saints secondary coach Dom Capers leaving New Orleans to become defensive coordinator for the Pittsburg Steelers.

The Saints topped the league in passing yards allowed in his first season on his father’s staff, and the junior Mora coached the first Pro Bowl cornerback in franchise history and before becoming a defensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL twice over.

Honorable Mention: Chet Franklin (1978-1979), Aaron Glenn (2016-2020)

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What do you think of this list, Saints fans? Did I miss anyone?