Darren Rizzi was named special teams coordinator for the New Orleans Saints on Feb. 11, 2019. Rizzi brings 28 years of coaching experience, including a 10-season stint with the Miami Dolphins from 2009-18.
Since entering the NFL in 2008, five of Rizzi's special teams players have been named to six Pro Bowls, including return specialist Deonte Harty and kicker Wil Lutz in 2019. He has coached six players to the NFL All-Rookie team in the past eight years, including Harris in 2019. Rizzi's units have served in the top half of NFL writer Rick Gosselin's annual special teams rankings in all 10 years that he has served as a coordinator, including first in 2019 and fifth in 2020.
In 2020, Rizzi fielded a special teams unit that ranked first in opponent punt return average (2.3) and second in opponent kickoff return average (17.2), sixth in kickoff return average (25.4 avg.) and ninth in punt return average (10.2 avg.), while ranking third in opponent average starting position after kickoffs (23.8-yard line) and ninth in average starting position after kickoffs (25.9-yard line). Despite missing seven games with injuries, Harris had a 12.2 punt return average and 27.3 kickoff return average. Lutz (Week Five) and punter Thomas Morstead (Week One) each were named NFC Special Teams Player of the week once.
Darren Rizzi Coaching Career
|Colgate (College)||Graduate assistant||1993|
|New Haven (College)||Special teams & defensive line coach||1994-96|
|New Haven (College)||Defensive coordinator||1997|
|Northwestern (College)||Special teams & linebackers coach||1998|
|New Haven (College)||Head coach||1999-01|
|Rutgers (College)||Special teams coordinator||2002-07|
|Rhode Island (College)||Head coach||2008|
|Miami Dolphins (NFL)||Special teams coordinator||2009-16|
|Miami Dolphins (NFL)||Associate head coach & special teams coordinator||2017-18|
|New Orleans Saints (NFL)||Special teams coordinator||2019-present|
Take a look at special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi in action as we highlight the New Orleans Saints coaching staff on the sidelines.