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Kirby Wilson
Running Backs/Run Game Coordinator

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Kirby Wilson was named the Browns running backs coach/run game coordinator on Jan. 22, 2016.  He has 19 years of experience coaching running backs in the NFL, during which time he has coached five running backs who rank in the top 25 for career rushing yards (Emmitt Smith #1, Curtis Martin #4, Edgerrin James #12, Adrian Peterson #16 and Thomas Jones #25) and two of the top four all-time reception leaders among running backs (Larry Centers #1 and Keith Byers #4).

Wilson has helped seven different running backs break the 1,000-yard plateau a total of eight times. He has mentored four players to the Pro Bowl and has been to the playoffs with four different franchises, highlighted by the 2002 Buccaneers and 2008 Steelers Super Bowl victories. Wilson’s teams have won six division titles and advanced to the postseason eight times.

In Wilson’s first season in Cleveland, the Browns finished second in the NFL with a 4.89 rushing average. The average was the seventh-best in team history and the team’s best mark since 1966.  The Browns eclipsed 160 rushing yards in five games, including a season-high 231 yards in the finale at Pittsburgh, their fourth-most in a game since 1999.

Isaiah Crowell finished the year with a career-high 952 rushing yards, the most by a Brown since 2010. He rushed for a career-high 152 yards at Pittsburgh and was voted FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week for Week 17. Crowell also had the longest run in the NFL in 2016 season, an 85-yard touchdown run against the Ravens on Sept. 18, the second-longest in Browns history. In addition, Duke Johnson Jr. finished with 514 receiving yards and became the first Browns running back to record 500 receiving yards in each of his first two NFL seasons.

Wilson spent two seasons (2014-15) with the Minnesota Vikings, where he helped Adrian Peterson capture the NFL rushing title with 1,485 yards in 2015. With Peterson missing the final 15 games in 2014, Wilson helped Matt Asiata record nine rushing touchdowns, tied for third-most in the NFL, after totaling only three rushing scores his first three seasons in the league.

Prior to Minnesota, Wilson served as Pittsburgh’s running backs coach for seven seasons. In 2013, rookie Le’Veon Bell missed the first three games of the season and still broke the Steelers rookie record for most yards from scrimmage (1,259). During the 2009-10 seasons, Wilson coached Rashard Mendenhall to back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. In his first season with the Steelers, Wilson helped Willie Parker lead the NFL in rushing yards (1,316) through Week 16 before missing the final game of the season due to a leg injury.

Prior to joining the Steelers, Wilson coached the running backs in Arizona (2004-06) and Tampa Bay (2002-03). In 2004, Cardinals running back Edgerrin James finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,548 and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2004 and 2005. In his first season with the Buccaneers, Wilson led a trio of backs to collectively gain more than 1,400 rushing yards en route to helping the Buccaneers to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott earned Pro Bowl accolades in 2002 after rushing for 548 yards and five touchdowns.

Wilson spent the 2001 season in the collegiate ranks serving as the wide receivers coach under Pete Carroll at Southern California.

Prior to USC, Wilson coached the running backs in Washington (2000) and New England (1997-99), where he worked with a trio of 1,000-yard rushers (Stephen Davis in 2000, Robert Edwards in 1998 and Curtis Martin in 1997). In 2000, Redskins fullback Larry Centers led the team in receptions (80).

Wilson previously spent nine seasons coaching on the college level where he had stops at Iowa State (1995-96), Wyoming (1993-94), Southern Illinois (1991-92), Los Angeles Southwest Community College (1989-90) and Pasadena Community College (1985). Under Wilson’s guidance at Iowa State, running back Troy Davis earned All-American honors after becoming the first and only player in NCAA history to have back-to-back 2,000-yard rushing seasons.

Wilson played collegiately as a running back and wide receiver at Pasadena Community College (1979-80) and Illinois (1981-82). He played two seasons in the Canadian Football League as a defensive back and kick returner for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1983) and Toronto Argonauts (1984).

Born in Los Angeles, Calif., Wilson earned his degree from Eastern Illinois in 1989.

Wilson has five children, Kris, Michael, Tyler, Malia and Savanna.

Kirby Wilson’s Coaching Background:

1985                Pasadena Community College, wide receivers coach
1986-90           Los Angeles Southwest Community College, quarterbacks/running backs coach
1991                Southern Illinois University, linebackers coach
1992                Southern Illinois University, passing game coordinator
1993-94           University of Wyoming, secondary coach
1995-96           Iowa State University, running backs coach 
1997-99           New England Patriots, running backs coach
2000                Washington Redskins, running backs coach
2001                University of Southern California, wide receivers coach
2002-03           Tampa Bay Buccaneers, running backs coach           
2004-06           Arizona Cardinals, running backs coach
2007-13           Pittsburgh Steelers, running backs coach
2014-15           Minnesota Vikings, running backs coach
2016-               Cleveland Browns, running backs coach/run game coordinator

Wilson’s NFL 1,000-yard rushers                                                       

Player

Team

Year

Yards

Curtis Martin

New England Patriots

1997

1,160

Robert Edwards

New England

1998

1,115

Stephen Davis

Washington Redskins

2000

1,318

Edgerrin James

Arizona Cardinals

2006

1,159

Willie Parker

Pittsburgh Steelers

2007

1,316

Rashard Mendenhall

Pittsburgh Steelers

2009

1,108

Rashard Mendenhall

Pittsburgh Steelers

2010

1,273

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings

2015

1,485*

*Led the NFL

Wilson’s Pro Bowl selections                                              

Player

Team

Pro Bowl

Stephen Davis

Washington Redskins

2000

Mike Alstott

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2002

Willie Parker

Pittsburgh Steelers

2007

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings

2016

Kirby Wilson was named the Browns running backs coach/run game coordinator on Jan. 22, 2016.  He has 19 years of experience coaching running backs in the NFL, during which time he has coached five running backs who rank in the top 25 for career rushing yards (Emmitt Smith #1, Curtis Martin #4, Edgerrin James #12, Adrian Peterson #16 and Thomas Jones #25) and two of the top four all-time reception leaders among running backs (Larry Centers #1 and Keith Byers #4).

Wilson has helped seven different running backs break the 1,000-yard plateau a total of eight times. He has mentored four players to the Pro Bowl and has been to the playoffs with four different franchises, highlighted by the 2002 Buccaneers and 2008 Steelers Super Bowl victories. Wilson’s teams have won six division titles and advanced to the postseason eight times.

In Wilson’s first season in Cleveland, the Browns finished second in the NFL with a 4.89 rushing average. The average was the seventh-best in team history and the team’s best mark since 1966.  The Browns eclipsed 160 rushing yards in five games, including a season-high 231 yards in the finale at Pittsburgh, their fourth-most in a game since 1999.

Isaiah Crowell finished the year with a career-high 952 rushing yards, the most by a Brown since 2010. He rushed for a career-high 152 yards at Pittsburgh and was voted FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week for Week 17. Crowell also had the longest run in the NFL in 2016 season, an 85-yard touchdown run against the Ravens on Sept. 18, the second-longest in Browns history. In addition, Duke Johnson Jr. finished with 514 receiving yards and became the first Browns running back to record 500 receiving yards in each of his first two NFL seasons.

Wilson spent two seasons (2014-15) with the Minnesota Vikings, where he helped Adrian Peterson capture the NFL rushing title with 1,485 yards in 2015. With Peterson missing the final 15 games in 2014, Wilson helped Matt Asiata record nine rushing touchdowns, tied for third-most in the NFL, after totaling only three rushing scores his first three seasons in the league.

Prior to Minnesota, Wilson served as Pittsburgh’s running backs coach for seven seasons. In 2013, rookie Le’Veon Bell missed the first three games of the season and still broke the Steelers rookie record for most yards from scrimmage (1,259). During the 2009-10 seasons, Wilson coached Rashard Mendenhall to back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. In his first season with the Steelers, Wilson helped Willie Parker lead the NFL in rushing yards (1,316) through Week 16 before missing the final game of the season due to a leg injury.

Prior to joining the Steelers, Wilson coached the running backs in Arizona (2004-06) and Tampa Bay (2002-03). In 2004, Cardinals running back Edgerrin James finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,548 and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2004 and 2005. In his first season with the Buccaneers, Wilson led a trio of backs to collectively gain more than 1,400 rushing yards en route to helping the Buccaneers to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott earned Pro Bowl accolades in 2002 after rushing for 548 yards and five touchdowns.

Wilson spent the 2001 season in the collegiate ranks serving as the wide receivers coach under Pete Carroll at Southern California.

Prior to USC, Wilson coached the running backs in Washington (2000) and New England (1997-99), where he worked with a trio of 1,000-yard rushers (Stephen Davis in 2000, Robert Edwards in 1998 and Curtis Martin in 1997). In 2000, Redskins fullback Larry Centers led the team in receptions (80).

Wilson previously spent nine seasons coaching on the college level where he had stops at Iowa State (1995-96), Wyoming (1993-94), Southern Illinois (1991-92), Los Angeles Southwest Community College (1989-90) and Pasadena Community College (1985). Under Wilson’s guidance at Iowa State, running back Troy Davis earned All-American honors after becoming the first and only player in NCAA history to have back-to-back 2,000-yard rushing seasons.

Wilson played collegiately as a running back and wide receiver at Pasadena Community College (1979-80) and Illinois (1981-82). He played two seasons in the Canadian Football League as a defensive back and kick returner for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1983) and Toronto Argonauts (1984).

Born in Los Angeles, Calif., Wilson earned his degree from Eastern Illinois in 1989.

Wilson has five children, Kris, Michael, Tyler, Malia and Savanna.

Kirby Wilson’s Coaching Background:

1985                Pasadena Community College, wide receivers coach
1986-90           Los Angeles Southwest Community College, quarterbacks/running backs coach
1991                Southern Illinois University, linebackers coach
1992                Southern Illinois University, passing game coordinator
1993-94           University of Wyoming, secondary coach
1995-96           Iowa State University, running backs coach 
1997-99           New England Patriots, running backs coach
2000                Washington Redskins, running backs coach
2001                University of Southern California, wide receivers coach
2002-03           Tampa Bay Buccaneers, running backs coach           
2004-06           Arizona Cardinals, running backs coach
2007-13           Pittsburgh Steelers, running backs coach
2014-15           Minnesota Vikings, running backs coach
2016-               Cleveland Browns, running backs coach/run game coordinator

Wilson’s NFL 1,000-yard rushers                                                       

Player

Team

Year

Yards

Curtis Martin

New England Patriots

1997

1,160

Robert Edwards

New England

1998

1,115

Stephen Davis

Washington Redskins

2000

1,318

Edgerrin James

Arizona Cardinals

2006

1,159

Willie Parker

Pittsburgh Steelers

2007

1,316

Rashard Mendenhall

Pittsburgh Steelers

2009

1,108

Rashard Mendenhall

Pittsburgh Steelers

2010

1,273

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings

2015

1,485*

*Led the NFL

Wilson’s Pro Bowl selections                                              

Player

Team

Pro Bowl

Stephen Davis

Washington Redskins

2000

Mike Alstott

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2002

Willie Parker

Pittsburgh Steelers

2007

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings

2016

 

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