Dirk Koetter was Atlanta's offensive coordinator for two seasons.
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

5 things to know about Dirk Koetter

This is a refresher course for those who weren’t paying attention back in 2012 during Dirk Koetter’s first-stint with the Falcons or for those who just need some gentle reminders.

Here are five things to know about Dirk Koetter:

1. Background. Koetter is 59 and was born in Pocatello, Idaho.

2. Former Bucs coach. Koetter went 19-29 as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs from 2016-2018.

3. College background. Koetter was a head coach at Boise State (1998-2000) and Arizona State , where he coached Tyrell Suggs. He was 26-10 at Boise State and won two bowl games. At Arizona State, he went 40-34 over six seasons and went to four bowl games. 

4. Coaching start. Koetter and Andy Reid starter their careers together in San Francisco. Here’s an excerpt from a feature that appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jan. 22, 2017:

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Back in 1985, Dirk Koetter decided to leave the small town of Pocatello, Idaho, to chase his dream of one day becoming like his father.

He was 26, four years past his college playing days at Idaho State. He had coached a few years in high school before going to San Francisco State to work on a three-man staff with head coach Vic Rowen and Andy Reid.

“Going to San Francisco was an eye-opener,” Koetter said.

He made his adjustment to the big city by burying himself in the playbooks that lined the shelves of the football office.

“We had a decent office,” said Reid, who now coaches the Philadelphia Eagles. “[Rowen] had playbooks from all over the country. We were well-educated.”

Determined to follow in the path of his father, Jim, an Idaho coaching legend, Koetter set off on a journey that led to him being hired last Sunday as the Falcons' new offensive coordinator.

Reid and Koetter would stay together for nine years, going on to coach together at Texas-El Paso and Missouri.

“He was the coordinator, and I was the line coach,” Reid said. “We worked hand-in-hand. I’ve got a few years with Dirk, and we’re good friends.”

They both recall their start with Rowen as a vital first step in the profession.

5. Last time around. Koetter was the Falcons coordinator in 2012 when the team reached the NFC Championship game. The Falcons had a 17-0 lead and were a few bad bounces away from the Super Bowl. They came up 10 yards short in the 28-24 loss. The team plunged in 2013 to 4-12 and 6-10 after the rebuilt offensive line collapsed. 

Meet Dirk Koetter

Age: 59 (turns 60 Feb. 5)

Hometown: Pocatello, Idaho

Education: Idaho State. He has two degrees — a bachelors and masters — from the school. Played quarterback from 1978-1981. He was a Big Sky Conference and NCAA Region 7 all-academic winner.

College experience: He was an assistant at San Francisco State, Texas-El Paso, Missouri, Boston College and Oregon. He was a head coach at Boise State (1998-2000) and Arizona State (2001-06).

Pro experience: Jacksonville, offensive coordinator (2007-11). Team was 11-5 in 2007 and beat Pittsburgh in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Jaguars did not post a winning record in four subsequent seasons. Was with Falcons from 2012 to 2014. In 2015, he was Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator before being names the head coach in 2016. 

Highlights: Professional quarterbacks that Koetter has coached in college include Andrew Walter, Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, A.J. Feeley and Matt Hasselback. 

 Subscribe to “The Bow Tie Chronicles” podcast with the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter on iTunes or on the new AJC sports podcasts page.

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