Ravens secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo is heading back to the Big Apple.
The assistant head coach to John Harbaugh has agreed to re-join the New York Giants as their defensive coordinator, a position he held there from 2007-2008 while guiding his defense to a win against the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Spagnuolo spent the last two years with the Ravens, serving as a senior defensive assistant in 2013 before being assigned to coach the secondary this past season.
A rash of injuries led to plenty of struggles in the secondary as the Ravens finished 23rd in pass defense, but the 55-year-old Spagnuolo was praised by Harbaugh at his season-ending press conference earlier this week. The pair worked together for eight years in Philadelphia under head coach Andy Reid.
“Steve is a great coach. He’s done a great job with the guys throughout the course of the season,” Harbaugh said. “Obviously, [he is] a tremendously experienced coach. He’s been a head coach, been a coordinator, and that’s not something that we would want to hold him back from as an opportunity.”
Spagnuolo beat out the likes of former Oakland head coach Dennis Allen, former Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris, and former Giants linebacker Pepper Johnson for the job.
As for who might replace Spagnuolo in Baltimore, assistant secondary coach Chris Hewitt would be a logical in-house replacement, but the Ravens would likely look outside the organization for other candidates. This marks the second straight offseason that Harbaugh will need to replace his secondary coach after Teryl Austin departed last January to become the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.