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Coaches

Bret Ingalls

A 32-year coaching veteran, including four stints as a coordinator, Bret Ingalls enters his second campaign as offensive line coach in his sixth season with the Saints after spending his first four tutoring the running backs. It has been a natural transition for Ingalls, who has extensive experience tutoring offensive linemen.

A 32-year coaching veteran, including four stints as a coordinator, Bret Ingalls enters his second campaign as offensive line coach in his sixth season with the Saints after spending his first four tutoring the running backs. It has been a natural transition for Ingalls, who has extensive experience tutoring offensive linemen.

In his first season tutoring the Saints offensive line, the guard duo of Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs were selected to the Pro Bowl. In addition, Ingalls helped integrate rookie Terron Armstead into the starting left tackle slot in Week 16.

Ingalls’ position group played an integral role in the NFL’s second-ranked offense in 2012.  As a unit, the running backs combined for 2,720 yards from scrimmage with 19 touchdowns. Mark Ingram continued to emerge over the last half of the season, rushing for a team-best 602 yards and five TDs. Despite missing three games, Darren Sproles added 911 yards of offense and eight TDs, as he led NFL running backs in receiving for the second consecutive season with 75 receptions for 667 yards and seven scoring grabs. The group’s 141 catches ranked first in the NFL by a backfield.

In 2011, the Saints finished with the NFL’s sixth-best rushing yardage total (132.9 ypg.) and fourth-best rushing average (4.9).  Ingalls tutored a quartet of tailbacks in Ingram, Chris Ivory, Sproles and Pierre Thomas who all contributed to the Saints setting a club record for net yardage. Most notably, Sproles finished the season with the highest single-season all-purpose yardage total in NFL history with 2,696 yards, as he led NFL running backs with 86 catches for 710 yards in addition to his 87 carries for a team-high 603 yards (6.9 avg.) with a total of ten touchdowns. Thomas carried 110 times for 562 yards (5.1 avg.) with five TDs and adding 50 grabs for 425 yards with one TD.

Despite starting six different players at the position in 2010, the Saints running game averaged 4.0 yards per carry for an offense that was ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in yardage and scoring.  Ingalls helped prepare Ivory, an undrafted rookie who led the club in all rushing categories with 137 carries for 716 yards (5.2 avg.) with five touchdowns, as he was named to several All-Rookie teams.

Ingalls’ extensive experience immediately made an impact in 2009 as the Saints improved in the NFL rushing rankings from 28th to sixth as they churned out 131.6 yards per game and averaged a club-record 4.5 yards per carry. His group combined for 1,837 yards rushing. Thomas enjoyed a breakout season, leading the club in rushing with 147 carries for 793 yards (5.4 avg.) and six TDs, ranking fourth in the NFL in yards per carry. Grabbing 39 receptions for 302 yards, he finished with a team-best 1,095 total yards from scrimmage, adding 254 more and three TDs in the postseason.

Ingalls served on the staff at Northwestern from 2006-08, where he was running game coordinator/offensive line coach his final season. He molded a line without extensive starting experience into the cornerstone of an offense that led the Wildcats to a nine-win season. Northwestern rushed for over 1,800 yards and ranked second in the Big Ten for fewest sacks allowed. In 2007, the offensive line blocked for the Big Ten’s top-ranked passing attack, and in 2006 led the way for 1,705 yards rushing.

Ingalls spent 2005 at Miami (Ohio), working with the tight ends and tackles, and spent the previous season with Indiana State. From 2000-03, he was the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, the University of Idaho, where he also tutored the quarterbacks and running backs for two seasons each.

From 1997-99, Ingalls served as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Northern Iowa and he held similar positions at Louisville from 1995-96. In 1994, he coached the offensive line at Eastern Michigan.

Ingalls held several positions on the offensive side of the ball at San Diego State from 1989-93. Over those years, he had stints as offensive coordinator (1992-93), offensive line coach (1990-92) and running backs coach (1989, 1993). While running backs coach, he tutored 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame selection Marshall Faulk, who twice led the nation in rushing.

Ingalls' coaching career began at Idaho, where he graduated in 1984. After serving as a student defensive backs coach, he was assistant offensive line coach from 1984-85 and running backs coach from 1986-88. Idaho won four Big Sky Conference championships during his tenure.

A native of Snohomish, Wash., Ingalls was a starting running back at Wichita State (1979-81). He graduated from Idaho in 1984 with a business degree.

PLAYING CAREER: Wichita State, 1979-81.

COACHING CAREER: Idaho, 1982-88; San Diego State, 1989-

93; Eastern Michigan, 1994; Louisville, 1995-96; Northern Iowa, 1997-99;

Idaho, 2000-03; Indiana State, 2004; Miami (Ohio), 2005; Northwestern,

2006-08; New Orleans Saints, 2009-.

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