EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today announced the hiring of defensive assistant coaches Mike Dawson and Henry Baker.
Dawson will be the outside linebackers coach, while Baker will be the team’s assistant defensive backs coach.
“We are thrilled to add Mike and Henry to our coaching staff,” said head coach Pat Shurmur. “They are both outstanding teachers, communicators and motivators. They are also great people, and we look forward to both of them contributing to our success.”
Baker, who will work with defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo, replaces Deshea Townsend, who was recently named the Chicago Bears’ defensive backs coach. Dawson replaces Rob Leonard, who left the Giants to become the Miami Dolphins’ linebackers coach.
A coach for more than 20 years, including three in the NFL, Dawson spent the previous three seasons as a collegiate defensive line coach under Scott Frost, in 2018 at Nebraska and the 2016-17 seasons at Central Florida.
In Dawson's lone season at Nebraska, the defensive line featured a pair of All-Big Ten performers in brothers Carlos and Khalil Davis. The unit helped the defense climb 27 spots in the national scoring defense rankings from the 2017 season and helped Nebraska total 25 sacks, 11 more than the Huskers recorded the previous season.
In 2017, Dawson’s unit helped UCF post the first perfect season in program history and in the history of the American Athletic Conference when Central Florida finished 13-0 as the nation's only undefeated team. The Knights ranked third in the league in scoring defense and fourth in rushing defense. Two of his three starting defensive linemen earned all-conference accolades, including Jamiyus Pittman, a member of the Outland Trophy watch list who was an All-AAC performer for the second straight season.
Dawson was on the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff from 2013-15, the three seasons Pat Shurmur was the team’s offensive coordinator and McGovern coached their outside linebackers. He spent one season as the defensive quality control coach and two as a defensive line assistant.
Before joining the Eagles, Dawson coached at Boston College from 2009-11 (when McGovern was the team’s defensive coordinator), Akron from 2006-08, and New Hampshire from 2000-05.
As a player, Dawson was a three-year starter at linebacker and defensive end from 1995 to 1997 at UMass-Amherst. He earned his degree in sports management from UMass-Amherst in 1997. He and his wife Jodi have one son, Frankie.
Baker comes to the Giants from Rutgers University, where he returned on Jan. 2 as cornerbacks coach and passing game coordinator after spending the 2018 season at the University of North Carolina as cornerbacks coach – the position he held at Rutgers in 2017. That Scarlet Knights team intercepted 12 passes, four more than they had in the previous season.
Prior to joining the Rutgers program, Baker spent six seasons (2011-16) as the cornerbacks coach at the University of Delaware, where he was also the special teams coordinator in 2012. He was the defensive backs coach at East Strousburg University in 2010, and a defensive assistant at the University of Maryland, his alma mater, in 2008-09.
Baker began his coaching career in 2003 at the school where he played high school football, Eastside High in Paterson, N.J., just 10 miles from MetLife Stadium. He coached at South Miami (Fla.) High School in 2007 before becoming a collegiate coach.
Baker served in the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship in the training camps of the Detroit Lions in 2015 and the Giants in 2016.
Baker was a four-year letter winner and two-year starter at defensive back from 1994-97 at Maryland, where he earned his bachelor's degree in sociology in 2003.
Baker and his wife, Theresa, have a son, Khari, and daughters Kaila and Khloe.