EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Less than 24 hours after his defense helped the Cincinnati Bengals advance to the AFC Championship Game, Lou Anarumo today interviewed for the Giants' head coaching position.
Anarumo, who has been the Bengals' defensive coordinator for three seasons, was the Giants' defensive backs coach in 2018.
Anarumo, 55, spoke this afternoon via video conferencing with team president John Mara, chairman Steve Tisch and Joe Schoen, who was hired last week as the Giants' new general manager. Anarumo is the third candidate to interview for the job, joining Buffalo Bills coordinators Brian Daboll (offense) and Leslie Frazier (defense). Schoen was the Bills' assistant general manager the previous five seasons.
Cincinnati's defense yesterday intercepted three Ryan Tannehill passes in a 19-16 victory against the top-seeded Tennessee Titans in a divisional playoff game in Nashville. The last pick, by Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson on a pass that was batted into the air by former Giants cornerback Eli Apple, gave the ball to the Bengals at their 47-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. Four plays later, rookie Evan McPherson kicked the game-winning 52-yard field goal as time expired.
In the regular season, Anarumo's defense finished fifth in the NFL against the run, allowing 102.5 yards a game. The Bengals were 17th in scoring defense (allowing 22.1 points a game) and 18th in total yardage (350.9 per game). Cincinnati allowed just two touchdowns the last two weeks in playoff triumphs against Las Vegas and Tennessee.
The Bengals' most disruptive defensive player, Pro Bowl end Trey Hendrickson, finished fifth in the league with 14.0 sacks.
Anarumo has coached football for more than 30 years, including the last 10 in the NFL.
In 2020, Cincinnati's defense featured seven new starters from the previous season but held opposing passers to just a 62.8 completion percentage, sixth lowest in the NFL. Anarumo helped develop Jessie Bates III – who intercepted Tannehill on the game's first play yesterday – into one of the league's most productive safeties, as well as standouts Wilson, Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard.
In Anarumo's debut season as coordinator in 2019, Cincinnati's defense improved markedly in the season's second half, totaling 11 more sacks than it did in the first eight games and allowing 84.1 fewer yards per game.
The Giants ranked seventh in the NFL with 16 interceptions and 10th in opponents' passer rating (89.8) in Anarumo's one season with the club.
Prior to his time with the Giants, Anarumo was the Miami Dolphins' defensive backs coach from 2012-17. He also served as interim defensive coordinator for the Dolphins' final 12 games of 2015 after the team made midseason coaching staff changes.
Anarumo spent 23 seasons coaching in college. From 2004-11, he was the defensive backs coach at Purdue University, where he oversaw the development of multiple future pros.
He began his coaching career at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1989 and also coached at Wagner, Syracuse, Harvard and Marshall.
Anarumo was a fervent Giants fan growing up on Staten Island. He and his wife, Fran, have three children: Madison, Louis and Christopher.
View photos of the career of Giants head coaching candidate and Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.