What is the “get back” coach in NFL? Explaining the role

Almost every NFL team has a number of coaches who collaborate with the team while being overseen by the head coach. Although almost all of us are familiar with the roles of offensive line coach, wide receiver coach, and quarterback coach among others, very few of us are familiar with the function of a team’s get-back coach.

The get back coaches also play a critical role in the fast-paced, high-stakes environment of NFL games, although frequently their contribution and significance are hidden from view.

“Get back” coach: explained

We are all aware that the NFL rules place stringent restrictions on players and coaches in order to ensure safety and order during games, and that breaking these restrictions can lead to penalties, game disruptions, and even significant injury risks.

get back coach
The Ringer

In that case, the get back coach is the one who controls the game. The primary responsibility of a get-back coach is to serve as a liaison between players, coaches, and other staff members.

Normally, their job is to make sure that coaches and players return to the sidelines while respecting the regulations and remaining inside the confines of the area. This entails employing hand gestures, verbal cues, and occasionally even physically guiding someone back.

Prominent “get back” coaches in NFL

Though, the get back coaches often serve duty as the behind-the-scenes hero of a football team, due to their great teamwork, some of them grasped the limelight already.

Ted Rath: Ted Rath is one of them who gained notoriety for serving as the “get-back coach” for the Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay. Since 2009, he has served as a professional coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. He joined the Eagles in 2020 and is still playing for them today. Rath most recently received the award for his exceptional performance in the 2022 season, when the Eagles made it to Super Bowl LVII.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Ryan Russell: Ryan Russel joined the Mizzou team as Assistant Athletics Director and Executive Director of Athletic Performance in February 2021. He previously worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Auburn from 2010 to 2011. He has won one national championship, and six conference championships, and appeared in 20 bowl games as a get back coach.

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Bleacher Report

Quinn Barham: Quinn Barham joined Coastal Carolina football this year and has already received a lot of accolades for his impact on the football team’s speed, strength, and conditioning. He came in from Ohio State, where he had been the assistant director of football sports performance for the previous seven seasons.

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Post and Courier

Adam Smotherman: Adam Smotherman became the head football strength and conditioning coach at Virginia in December 2021. Smotherman previously served as Furman’s associate director of strength and conditioning from 2012 to 2013.

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Sports Illustrated

Did you have any idea on the responsibilities of a get back coach? Did you learn something new? Let us know in the comment box.

Shabiha Akter

1227 articles

Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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