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Giants hire new defensive backs coach


The Giants have announced the hiring of Everett Withers as the team's defensive backs coach.

Withers is a 32-year veteran with both collegiate and NFL coaching experience. He spent the previous three seasons as the head coach at Texas State University, which plays in the Sun Belt Conference. He was named Texas State's 19th head coach on Jan. 6, 2016.

During his time at TSU, Withers headed a cultural transformation of the football program that featured renovations and upgrades in the team's End Zone Complex, new uniforms and helmets, and new lockers in the locker room. Texas State's football players improved on the field, succeeded in the classroom at a record-setting pace and performed community service in the city of San Marcos and Hays County.

Prior to his tenure at Texas State, Withers was the coach at James Madison University in 2014-15. He guided the Dukes to an 18-7 record, including a 12-4 record in the Colonial Athletic Association, and a pair of NCAA FCS playoff appearances. JMU won a share of a CAA championship in 2015, the school's first conference title since 2008, and finished third in the CAA in 2014 after being predicted to finish eighth.

James Madison also set a school record with a 14-game, regular-season winning streak after the Dukes won the final seven games of the 2014 season and began the 2015 campaign with a 7-0 record. JMU also tied a school record by winning 10 straight CAA games.

In his two seasons at James Madison, Withers laid a foundation that helped the program win an FCS national championship in 2016. His offense produced record-setting quarterback Vad Lee, who tied a school record with 51 touchdown passes in just 21 career games and ranks second among JMU's career leaders in total offense with 7,292 yards, and third in 5,662 passing yards, 446 completions and 705 attempts.

Withers led James Madison to a 9-3 record and had a 6-2 league mark to earn a No. 5 seed in the 2015 NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs and hosted the school's first home playoff game in seven years when the Dukes played Colgate in the second round.

In his inaugural season, the Dukes had a 9-4 overall record and finished third in the league standings with a 6-2 mark. James Madison played in the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2011. That year, James Madison set school records in total offense, passing offense, completions and touchdown passes and ranked 10th nationally in total offense with 484.6 yards per game. The Dukes also were the 17th-best scoring team and ranked 21st in both passing offense and rushing offense.

In addition to coaching at Texas State and James Madison, Withers also served on the coaching staffs at Ohio State, North Carolina, Minnesota, Texas, Louisville, Southern Miss, Tulane and Austin Peay. He also was an NFL assistant coach for six seasons with the Tennessee Titans and spent one year with the New Orleans Saints coaching staff. During his coaching career, Withers spent 11 years as a defensive coordinator and 17 seasons as a defensive secondary coach.

Withers went to James Madison in January 2014 from Ohio State, where he served as assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach in 2012 and 2013. The Buckeyes set a school record with a 24-game winning streak and had a 24-2 record during his tenure. Ohio State had a 12-0 record and finished No. 3 in the national rankings in 2012.

Prior to accepting his position with Ohio State, Withers spent four years at North Carolina. He was promoted to interim head coach in July 2011 and led the Tar Heels to a 7-6 overall record and a berth in the Independence Bowl against Missouri.

In his first three seasons at UNC, Withers was the school's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. His first defensive unit (in 2008) ranked eighth nationally with 20 interceptions and his 2009 unit ranked sixth in total defense, 10th in rushing, 13th in scoring and 14th in passing defense.

Withers spent the 2007 season as the defensive coordinator at Minnesota, and was a defensive backs coach at Texas under his former collegiate coach, Mack Brown, from 1998-2000. He as defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at Louisville from 1995-97.

Withers' other collegiate coaching experience was as a defensive backs and assistant special teams coach at Southern Mississippi in 1992-93, outside linebackers coach at Tulane in 1991 and defensive coordinator/defensive backs in 1988-89 and tight ends and special teams coach in 1990 at Austin Peay.

Before joining the Giants, Withers most recently coached in the NFL as the Tennessee Titans' defensive backs coach from 2001-06. Tennessee won the AFC South in 2002, and earned a playoff berth the following year. The Titans had 57 interceptions from 2002-04, the best three-year total for the franchise.

Withers' first NFL job was as the New Orleans Saints' defensive quality control coach in 1994.

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Withers was a four-year letterman as a defensive back at Appalachian State. He served as team captain under Mack Brown in 1984. He and his wife, Kara, have a daughter, Tia, and a son, Pierce.