Express announce coaching hires for inaugural season
MEMPHIS, TN. – The Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express announced six additions to head coach Mike Singletary’s staff. Dennis Thurman joins the Memphis Express as defensive coordinator and Tom Mason as linebackers coach. Matt Singletary will serve as defensive line coach and David Lee as quarterbacks coach. T. Seth Gibson will serve as a quality control coach.
“We have an opportunity to build something truly special here in Memphis, and these additions to my coaching staff symbolize continued progress toward our goal of putting together a championship caliber team,” said Coach Singletary. “I have brought in knowledgeable coaches from all levels, each bringing their own expertise to the Memphis Express. We want to put our players in the best position to succeed on and off the field, and I believe the first step to accomplishing that is building a great coaching staff. Fans can expect us to be aggressive on both sides of the ball.”
Dennis Thurman – Defensive Coordinator
Dennis Thurman began his coaching career with the Phoenix Cardinals in 1988 where he was the defensive backs coach for two seasons. Thurman spent the next eight seasons with the USC Trojans, where he mentored multiple future NFL players including The Alliance of American Football’s head of player relations Troy Polamalu. Following his time with the Trojans, Thurman returned to the NFL, coaching defensive backs for the Baltimore Ravens (2002-2007) and New York Jets (2008-2014). Thurman spent his final two seasons with the Jets as defensive coordinator. Thurman most recently served as the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills (2015-2016) under head coach Rex Ryan.
Tom Mason – Linebackers Coach
Tom Mason began his coaching career in 1981 with Eastern Washington University where he worked with the linebackers and special teams. Over the next 35+ years, Mason held coaching positions with 12 different teams, including stints as interim head coach with Boise State and SMU, the latter following a seven year run as defensive coordinator, during which he transformed the defense into one of the nation’s best. Masonalso spent time in the CFL and XFL.
Matt Singletary – Defensive Line Coach
Matt Singletary, son of Memphis Express head coach Mike Singletary, started his college football career at Baylor University, where his father had played. After redshirting his freshman year, Matt played two more seasons at Baylor before transferring to West Valley College and then to California Polytechnic State University where he played 11 games at defensive end. Matt is making his coaching debut as part of the Memphis Express coaching staff.
David Lee – Quarterback Coach
David Lee played college football for the Vanderbilt Commodores, where he was the starting quarterback and team captain for the 1974 season. The following year, Lee began his coaching career at the University of Tennessee at Martin as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. Over the next 40+ years, Lee coached 12 different teams, including five seasons as head coach for the UTEP Miners and four seasons as an offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys (2003-2006). Lee most recently held the position of quarterback coach with the Cleveland Browns for the 2017 season.
Ty Knott- Running Back/Special Teams Coach
Ty Knott spent nine years as an NFL assistant coach, holding positions with the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. He most recently spent three seasons with the Green Bay Packers (2006-2008) as the offensive quality control coach.