Rex Ryan’s coaching staff continues to take shape with two moves announced this morning. Tony Sparano Jr. has been promoted to offensive assistant, while former Jets safety Eric Smith will serve as a seasonal intern.
Sparano, 27, has been with us as a seasonal intern since 2012. He played defensive end at the University of Albany from 2006-09 before beginning his coaching career with the UFL’s Hartford Colonials (assistant defensive line, 2010). Before coming to the Jets he was an offensive quality control coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2011.
His father, Tony Sparano, served as our offensive coordinator in 2012 and is currently the assistant head coach/offensive line coach of the Oakland Raiders.
Smith will begin his coaching career for the same team with which he began his professional playing career. The Jets selected him in the third round (97th overall) of the 2006 draft, and he remained with the team until he was released last February.
In his seven seasons with the Green & White, Smith recorded six interceptions and 3.5 sacks. The 6’1”, 209-pound Michigan State product started 36 of his 96 NFL games and was a major special teams contributor as well.
Aside from the promotion of Sparano and the hiring of Smith, Ryan’s staff has undergone a few other changes this offseason. Thomas McGaughey replaced Ben Kotwica as our special teams coordinator and Bobby April III replaced Brian VanGorder as our linebackers coach.