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10 things to know about STC Michael Ghobrial

MICHAEL-GHOBRIAL

The New York Giants filled one of the key open positions on the coaching staff with the hiring of Michael Ghobrial as special teams coordinator.

Here are 10 things to know about Ghobrial.

1. Ghobrial just finished his third season as an assistant special teams coach for the New York Jets. Prior to joining the Jets, Ghobrial spent 12 seasons working in the college ranks in addition to spending some time with the 2017 Detroit Lions as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship.

2. The Jets had one of the top special teams units in the NFL in 2023, as they ranked No. 3 in Rick Gosselin's 2023 Special Teams Rankings. The unit was one of only eight teams to return a punt for a touchdown this season, while their 9.7 yards per punt return ranked 13th. Meanwhile, the Jets finished tied with the Cowboys with a league-high 36 field goals made, while their 92.3 field goal percentage ranked eighth. The Jets also led the NFL with 99 punts for 4,831 yards, and their 36 punts inside the 20-yard line was tied for the second-most.

3. With Ghobrial's assistance in 2022, special teams captain Justin Hardee, one of the NFL's leading special teams tacklers since entering the league in 2017, was selected to his first Pro Bowl after posting a single-season best 14 tackles. Hardee was only the sixth Jets special teamer to be selected to the Pro Bowl since 1970; two of the six have come during Ghobrial's time with the Jets. Kicker Greg Zuerlein three of the four longest field goals in Jets history this season, and became one of just five kickers in the NFL to convert on a 60+ yard field goal. The Jets ranked No. 9 in Gosselin's 2022 Special Teams Rankings.

4. In his first season with the franchise, Ghobrial, along with special teams coordinator Brant Boyer and fellow special teams assistant Leon Washington, oversaw a group that finished second in the NFL in special teams DVOA, according to FootballOutsiders.com. The Jets were the only team in the League to finish in the top five in both kickoff and punt return average that season, while wide receiver/return specialist Braxton Berrios was selected as an All Pro after he led the NFL in kickoff return average and finished second in punt return average. The Jets moved up to No. 13 on Rick Gosselin's 2021 Special Teams Rankings, one year after finishing No. 26.

5. Prior to joining the Jets, Ghobrial served as the special teams coordinator at Washington State University for the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The Cougars played just four games that season, but the special teams unit averaged 41.6 punt net yards, allowed just 5.4 yards per punt return, and connected on all four field goal attempts.

6. From 2018-19, Ghobrial was the special teams coordinator at the University of Hawaii where he helped the team get to bowl games in both seasons, including a 10-5 mark and Hawaii Bowl win over BYU in 2019. That season, Ghobrial's kickoff return team averaged nearly 23 yards-per-return and recorded one blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. In his first season there, Ghobrial guided Hawaii to a No. 5 national ranking in blocked kicks with five.

7. Before joining Hawaii's staff, Ghobrial spent two seasons at Tarleton State (2016-17), where he coached the defensive line and outside linebackers in addition to special teams. At TSU, Ghobrial coached six all-conference performers and guided one of the league's best special teams units. In 2017, the Texans ranked either first or second in kickoff-return average, kickoff-return touchdowns, blocked kicks, and kickoff coverage and featured the nation's ninth-ranked return specialist and No. 15-ranked punter. The Texans defense was also top three in the conference in sacks, tackles-for-loss, and total tackles. In his first season at TSU, the Texans led the nation in forced fumbles and were ninth in turnovers gained. TSU also blocked seven kicks, including three punts, and was No. 19 nationally in kickoff coverage.

Following his debut season with the Texans, Ghobrial had the opportunity to study and work alongside the Detroit Lions coaching staff at their organized team activities (OTAs) after receiving a position through the Bill Walsh Minority Internship.

8. He coached the 2015 season at Colorado Mesa as the defensive line and outside linebackers coach and co-special teams coordinator, helping the Mavericks to a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship in his only season. Ghobrial's CMU defensive line unit ranked first or second in the conference in tackles-for-loss, sacks, and total tackles and the defense was third nationally in turnover margin. In addition, the Mavericks were No. 12 nationally in blocked kicks, and first in the conference in punt-return defense.

9. Ghobrial spent the 2014 season at Syracuse as a graduate assistant, helping coach the defensive line. Ghobrial began his coaching career at his alma mater UCLA as a quality control coach in 2011 and moved to a graduate assistant position to work with the special teams and defensive line during the 2012-13 seasons. Ghobrial helped the Bruins lead the nation in blocked kicks for two consecutive seasons.

10. Ghobrial played at UCLA as a defensive end from 2006-07. He received two degrees from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in history in 2011 and master's degree in social science and comparative education in 2014.

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