Canadian-born New York Giants’ head coach Brian Daboll wins NFL Coach of the Year

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Canadian-born head coach Brian Daboll has been named the Associated Press 2022 NFL Coach of the Year for his efforts in turning around the New York Giants.

In his first season at the helm in the Big Apple, Daboll led the Giants to their first winning record since 2016 and their first playoff win in over a decade. New York finished the season with a 9-7-1 record, upsetting the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round.

Both quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley had career years in Daboll’s offence. New York finished with the league’s fourth-best rushing offence with 148.2 rushing yards per game and averaged more than 20 points per game (21.5) for the first time in two seasons.

The 46-year-old Daboll was born in Welland, Ontario, before moving to nearby West Seneca, New York to be raised by his grandparents. He is just the second Canadian-born head coach in the history of the NFL following British Columbia-born, Michigan-raised Tommy Hughitt, who was the player-coach of the Buffalo All-Americans/Bisons from 1920 to 1924.

A former safety at the University of Rochester, he began as a volunteer at William & Mary in 1997 and later served as a graduate assistant at Michigan State. He made the jump to the NFL in 2000 with the New England Patriots under new head coach Bill Belichick, rising from a defensive assistant to wide receivers coach in seven seasons. He would go on to become quarterbacks coach with the New York Jets, before stints as an offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

Daboll returned to New England in 2013 as a tight ends coach for three seasons, after which former colleague Nick Saban came knocking. Daboll became offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in 2017, using it as a launch pad to the same job with the Buffalo Bills.

During his time coaching, Daboll has won five Super Bowls and a College Football National Championship. In 2020, he was named the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year for overseeing the development of Bills quarterback Josh Allen into one of the best players in the league.