The Falcons coaching staff is finally taking shape, as the team has steadily added assistants and coordinators since the hiring of Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot. Atlanta now has all three coordinators under contract (Dean Pees at DC, Dave Ragone at OC, and Marquice Williams at ST) and has been filling out the remaining roles over the past two weeks. There’s been a mix of coaches from Tennessee—where Smith was mostly recently the offensive coordinator—and also hirings from around the league and even from the college ranks.
On Wednesday, the Falcons added two new coaches to Arthur Smith’s staff. Thomas Stallworth was named the strength and conditioning coach, while Brian Griffin was named director of coaching operations.
We have added a Director of Coaching Operations and a Strength and Conditioning Coach. https://t.co/aKA0HiHq8q— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) February 3, 2021
The strength and conditioning vacancy was one of the biggest remaining ones on Smith’s staff, and he’s filled it with an experienced assistant in Stallworth. Stallworth spent the previous three seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the New York Giants (2018-2020), and was previously the head strength and conditioning coach at Western Kentucky University (2017).
Throughout his career, Stallworth has been a strength and conditioning coach at Mississippi State, Fresno State, Texas Tech, and North Carolina State. He also played college football at the University of Tennessee, where he was a LB from 1997-2001. Stallworth clearly has a great deal of experience in this field at both the college and NFL level. This will be his first opportunity as the head strength and conditioning coach for an NFL team.
Brian Griffin’s role—director of coaching operations—is a title I haven’t heard before, at least in an NFL context. In soccer, a Director of Coaching (or DOC) is generally tasked with “building and developing a strong coaching team”. I assume Griffin’s role will be similar with the Falcons, and I also wonder if he’ll function as a kind of “coaching scout” who is on the look out for potential candidates in future years.
Griffin comes from an interesting background, as he most recently was the Director of Football at IMG Academy in 2020. For those who are unfamiliar, IMG Academy is perhaps the top high school in the state of Florida for athletics—and it appears Griffin coordinated nearly all aspects of the football program. He also has experience as an athletic director, spending six years in the role at St. John’s College High School.
Join us in wishing the best of luck to these new Falcons coaches.