UCF’s Scott Frost Hires NFL Coach Mike Dawson To Coach Defensive Line
By Brian Ormiston, UCF // January 23, 2016
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (UCF) – UCF’s defense added even more coaching experience to its arsenal as head coach Scott Frost announced the hiring of Mike Dawson as the Knights’ defensive line coach. Dawson most recently was the assistant defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dawson is the second assistant from the Eagles to venture to Orlando (offensive line coach Greg Austin).
“There’s a lot of excitement around UCF right now, and it has been helping us attract some exceptional football coaches,” Frost said.
“Mike Dawson comes to us with extensive NFL and college football experience. He also is very familiar with (defensive coordinator Erik) Chinander and his scheme that he is going to implement. Mike is a great addition to our staff and we look forward to working with him.”
Former Eagles head coach and current San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly hired Dawson in January 2013 to be a defensive quality control coach.
That year, the organization tied for third in the NFL in games holding their opponents to 21-or-fewer points, and tied for third in the league with 31 takeaways. Philadelphia won the NFC East title in 2013 with a 10-6 record.
Dawson served as assistant defensive line coach from 2014-15, with the 2014 team completing the year fifth in the NFL by holding opponents to just 3.7 yards per rush. The Eagles also tied for the second most sacks with 49.
Before joining the Eagles, Dawson was away from the coaching ranks when he agreed to be the athletic director at North Middlesex High School in Massachusetts in January 2012.
That was the same school Dawson served as a football captain when it went undefeated in 1992, while he also played for the hockey team.
From 2009-11, Dawson worked as Boston College’s special teams coordinator. In 2010, freshman kicker Nate Freese went 22-for-25 in field-goal attempts, while punter Ryan Quigley collected 26 punts inside the 20.
A year earlier, kicker Steve Aponavicius took over as the Eagles’ all-time leading scorer with 290 points, and he finished his career ranked first in school history in field-goal percentage and extra points made.
In his first full-time assistant coaching position at the FBS level, Dawson was in charge of the linebackers at Akron from 2006-08. Brion Stokes paced the team in tackles in 2007, and he was among the Mid-American Conference’s top-10 in tackles for loss and sacks. Stokes went on to be an All-MAC Second Team pick that year, and he capped off his career as a Zip with 38.5 tackles for loss, good for second on Akron’s all-time list.
Dawson began a six-year stint at New Hampshire as a linebackers coach in 2000 before ultimately climbing to be the defensive coordinator from 2004-05.
The 2005 Wildcats reached the FCS quarterfinals as the defense helped UNH lead the nation in takeaways with 45. New Hampshire combined for a 21-5 record from 2004-05.
Starting his coaching career, Dawson first served as a defensive line coach in the spring of 1998 for UMass-Lowell, then joined Maine as a defensive assistant (1998-99) and Pittsburgh as a graduate assistant (fall 1999).
Dawson was a three-year starter at linebacker and defensive end from 1994-96 at UMass-Amherst where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management in 1997.
A native of Pepperell, Mass., Dawson and his wife, Jodi, have a son, Frankie.
1998 (Spring) – UMass-Lowell – Defensive Line
1998-99 – Maine – Defensive Assistant
1999 (Fall) – Pittsburgh – Graduate Assistant
2000 – New Hampshire – Linebackers
2001 – New Hampshire – Offensive Line
2002-03 – New Hampshire – Linebackers
2004-05 – New Hampshire – Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2006-08 – Akron – Linebackers
2009-11 – Boston College – Special Teams
2013 – Philadelphia Eagles – Defensive Quality Control
2014-15 – Philadelphia Eagles – Assistant Defensive Line
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