EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The first woman to hold a coaching position in Giants history highlights a group of newcomers to the organization on coach Brian Daboll's staff.
Laura Young is the team's director of coaching operations. She is involved in every aspect of football operations, including coordinating/organizing practice, as well as game day operations.
"She'll have her hands all over the organization in terms of the coaching side," Daboll said. "She's with me every step of the way. She's a rock star really, and I feel very fortunate that I get to work with her each day because she provides just a tremendous amount of support and value to really everyone, but myself the most, I would say. She's smart, there's really not a job she can't do and a job she won't do. That's her mindset. Very humble, egoless, but driven, smart. I just think she's the best."
Young, who has 18 years of NFL experience, comes to the Giants from the Buffalo Bills, where she was the team's player services coordinator and worked with Daboll the previous four seasons. Young joined the Bills in 2015 during Rex Ryan's tenure as head coach and was retained when Sean McDermott replaced him in 2017. Daboll arrived a year later. When he was named the Giants coach, he knew he wanted Young to join him.
"Look, when you've been doing this for so long, you come across different people at different times," he said. "She was obviously a person that I just recognized how she did things and you never know when you're going to be faced with those opportunities, but I'd just say I'm very fortunate I get to work with her."
Young joins a group of coaches new to the Giants that includes two other former Bills, offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney. In addition, DeAndre Smith will coach the running backs, Mike Groh is the team's new wide receivers coach, Andy Bischoff will coach the tight ends, and Tony Sparano, Jr. is the assistant offensive line coach.
Andre Patterson is the new defensive line coach.
The position coaches will work with the coordinators on Daboll's staff announced previously: Mike Kafka (offense), Don "Wink" Martindale (defense) and Thomas McGaughey (special teams). Kafka and Martindale are new to the Giants, while McGaughey is entering his fifth season coaching the special teams.
"They're all intelligent, dependable, good character, team-first people who are experts in their subject matter, can teach well and explain the details of their positions," Daboll said. "I think there's an important part of developing a staff and bringing a staff together in terms of personality and fit, so we're happy with the guys that we've hired to this point. I'd say we've taken our time making decisions and really being methodical with our approach. We weren't going to rush anything. Just take each case day by day."
Daboll's staff includes coaches with decades of experience and others who are much younger, individuals who have coached on both the collegiate level and the NFL.
"I think what you try to do when you're putting together a staff, whether that be an offensive staff in a smaller form or the entire staff, you try to put together a group of people that will complement one another, whether that's experience, whether that's energy, whether that's detail, whether that's passion," Daboll said. "You don't want to have a cookie cutter approach and hire everybody that's exactly the same. I think that you have to offset blind spots."
Young entered the NFL in 2004 as an executive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens, for whom Ryan was then a defensive coach. In 2009, Ryan became the Jets' head coach and hired Young as the assistant to the head coach. Young was the Jets' manager of football administrative services in 2014, her final season with the team.
The following year, Young moved to Buffalo as the Bills' manager of football administration services/assistant to the head coach. She stayed in those roles from 2015 to April 2017, when she was named player services coordinator. In that role, Young assisted players and their families in acclimating to Buffalo. When the pandemic began two years ago, Young also served as the Bills' COVID-19 coordinator.
Young has a bachelor's degree in sports medicine from the University of the Pacific.
She is the second woman on the football side of the Giants' organization. Two years ago, Hannah Burnett was hired as the team's first full-time female scout. Burnett had previously worked with the Atlanta Falcons.
Johnson, 48, is a 26-year coaching veteran who was the Bills' offensive line coach from 2019-21. This season, the Bills finished third in the NFL with an average of 28.4 points a game and won the AFC title with an 11-6 record. Buffalo tackle Dion Dawkins was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl team.
In 2020, Johnson's line helped a Bills team that advanced to the AFC Championship Game lead the AFC and finish second in the NFL with an average of 31.3 points a game.
Johnson moved to Buffalo after spending the 2018 season as the Indianapolis Colts' assistant O-line coach. He has also served as the tight ends coach for the Oakland Raiders (2015-17) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2012) and assistant line coach for the Detroit Lions (2013-14) and the Bills (2010-11).
From 2005-09, Johnson was the offensive line coach at Indiana. He was an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio), his alma mater, from 1999-2004.
Tierney spent the last four seasons with the Bills, working under Daboll and closely with quarterback Josh Allen. He was an offensive assistant for two seasons and the assistant quarterbacks coach in 2020-21, a period in which the Bills won two AFC East titles and Allen threw for 10,405 yards and 87 touchdowns in 38 regular-season and postseason games.
Tierney was an offensive analyst at the University of Alabama in 2016-17. In the second of those seasons, Daboll was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and the Crimson Tide won the national championship.
From 2013-15, Tierney, a Philadelphia native, was an analyst and coaching intern with the Eagles.
He was an offensive graduate assistant at North Carolina State in 2011-12.
Smith has 22 years of experience as a collegiate running backs coach, including the last three seasons at Texas Tech. In 2021, the Red Raiders led the Big 12 with 32 rushing touchdowns, including 10 by SaRodorick Thompson. In 2019-20, Smith mentored Thompson into one of the conference's best backs as he totaled 1,375 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground during that span. Thompson led Texas Tech in rushing each of his three seasons under Smith.
Smith, 53, has also coached running backs at Utah State (2018), North Carolina (2017), Purdue (2016), Syracuse (2013-15), New Mexico (2008 and 2012), Illinois (2010-11), UNLV (2009), Miami (Ohio) (2005-07) and Northern Illinois, where he was also a special teams assistant (2001-04). From 1999-2000, Smith was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Indiana State.
Smith, a native of St. Louis, was a four-year letterman at quarterback for Southwest Missouri State where he was the 1990 Division I-AA Offensive Player of the Year as well as an All-American. He was named the Gateway Conference Player of the Decade from 1985 to 1995.
Smith, who earned his bachelor's degree in organizational communication from Southwest Missouri State, played professionally for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in 1992 and then in France in 1993.
Groh, 50, has coached on the collegiate level and in the NFL for 22 years. He spent the last two seasons as the Indianapolis Colts' wide receivers coach. In 2021, his top player, Michael Pittman, Jr., caught 88 passes for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns.
Groh was the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator from 2018-19 after spending his first season with the team as the receivers coach. In 2016, he coached the wideouts and was the passing game coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. Groh coached the Chicago Bears wide receivers from 2013-15.
He began his college coaching career teaching the wide receivers at his alma mater, Virginia, from 2001-08. Groh started as the receivers coach, added the quarterbacks in 2003 and coached them exclusively in 2004-05, and was the offensive coordinator from 2006-08.
In 2009, he moved to Alabama as a graduate assistant before spending a year at Louisville coaching quarterbacks. Groh then returned to Alabama for a two-year stint as receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. The Crimson Tide won the national championship all three years Groh was on Nick Saban's staff.
Groh's father, Al, was a Giants assistant coach from 1989-91 and was the defensive coordinator in the last of those seasons. Mike Groh's first coaching job was as an assistant with the Jets when his father was the head coach in 2000.
Mike Groh was Virginia's starting quarterback in 1994-95.
Bischoff has 28 years of coaching experience at the NFL, CFL and high school levels. He comes to the Giants from the Houston Texans, where he spent the 2021 season as the team's tight ends coach. His top three players – Jordan Akins, Pharaoh Brown and Brevin Jordan – combined for 67 catches for 563 yards and three touchdowns.
From 2015-20, Bischoff worked in several roles on the Baltimore Ravens' offensive staff. He began as a quality control coach before becoming an offensive assistant from 2016-17. The following season, he was an offensive assistant/tight ends coach and in 2019-20 he was the assistant tight ends coach.
In those two seasons, Baltimore's Mark Andrews totaled the most receiving touchdowns (17), fourth-most receiving yards (1,553) and fifth-most receptions (122) among NFL tight ends.
Bischoff entered the NFL with the Chicago Bears in 2013 as the tight ends coach/staff coordinator, positions he held for two seasons. In 2014, Bischoff tutored a group led by Martellus Bennett, who finished first in receptions (90) and third in receiving yards (916) among the league's tight ends and was selected to the Pro Bowl.
From 2008-12, Bischoff was in a variety of roles on the staff of the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.
Bischoff earned his bachelor's in education from the University of South Dakota, where he was a three-year letterman at center.
Sparano, 35, has been in the NFL since 2011. He spent the 2021 season as the Carolina Panthers' assistant offensive line coach.
Sparano previously spent four seasons (2017-20) as the assistant O-line coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his first season in Jacksonville, the Jaguars allowed only 24 sacks, led the NFL with 141.4 rushing yards a game and advanced to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to New England. In 2019, the line helped Leonard Fournette set a career high with 1,674 scrimmage yards.
In 2015-16, Sparano was the Buffalo Bills' tight ends coach.
Sparano entered the NFL in 2011 as the offensive quality control coach in Miami, where his late father, Tony, was the Dolphins' head coach. he was an intern with the Jets for two seasons before becoming an offensive assistant in 2014.
Sparano was a three-year letterman at defensive end at the University at Albany.
Patterson, 61, brings 40 years of coaching experience, including 18 in the NFL, to the Giants. He spent the previous eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, the first six as the team's defensive line coach. In 2020, Patterson was also the team's co-defensive coordinator and last year he added the title of assistant head coach.
After coaching in high school and college from 1982-96, Patterson entered the NFL as the D-line coach in New England in 1997. He subsequently held the same position in Minnesota (1998-99), Dallas (2000-2002), Cleveland (2003-04) and Denver (2005-06) before returning to high school and college coaching for seven years. Patterson rejoined the NFL with the Vikings in 2014.
Patterson earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Montana in 1983. He played collegiately as an offensive lineman at Contra Costa College and Montana before suffering a career-ending knee injury.
View photos of the three Giants coordinators - OC Mike Kafka, DC Don 'Wink' Martindale, and STC Thomas McGaughey.