The Detroit Lions have hired Cory Undlin as their next defensive coordinator, and despite his successes, many won’t know the coach’s name right off the bat.
Detroit’s new defensive boss is an interesting guy who has a history of molding talent wherever he has worked in the league and has a background that should suit his new state quite well.
What is there to know about Undlin? Here’s a look at some of the top facts about the team’s new hire for the defensive side of the ball.
Cory Undlin Has a Wife and 3 Children
Undlin is married to his wife Amy, and the pair has three children. They have a son named Caden and a pair of girls, Brooke and Taylor.
While coaching with the Eagles, Undlin lived across the river in New Jersey, a fact he revealed on a Any Given Hyundai segment with Melissa Stark. Undlin’s hobbies include hunting and fishing, and going out with his family on their boat. Undlin himself is a fly fisherman. The family has a Yellow Labrador Retriever that Undlin referred to as a bird dog while speaking with Stark.
As he says in the interview, Undlin has no problem shutting down and getting family time when he can. That time usually involves relaxing with nature.
Cory Undlin Was Born in Minnesota
Undlin hails from Sauk Center, Minnesota, so the move to Detroit is a move closer back to Undlin’s roots in the upper midwest. After growing up there, Undlin went west for college and began his playing career as a safety at California Lutheran from 1990-1994.
While Undlin would not make the leap to the NFL as a player, he would soon find himself in the league. Undlin began his coaching career at his alma mater and was soon calling defensive plays there by 2000. Shortly after that, he was in the NFL as a defensive assistant with the New England Patriots in 2004, which launched his professional career.
Matt Patricia Already Knows Cory Undlin
Obviously, for any position coach to get a major gig like this, the head coach would have to have a great relationship with him. That seems to be the case here with Undlin as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press pointed out. Patricia and Undlin had history together dating back to 2004 when they each worked with New England, and Patricia has referred to Undlin by name before when breaking down the Eagles.
Obviously, many folks will see Undlin becoming the defensive coordinator as some sort of nepotism, but it was obvious that whomever was going to coach the Detroit defense would have to have a history with Patricia. Clearly, that is the case given the tie the two had dating back to their start in coaching together.
Cory Undlin Coaches Talented Players
Undlin isn’t getting the gig based solely on the fact that he knows Patricia. At every stop he’s made in the NFL, Undlin has been able to coach some excellent players. Starting with coaching the Cleveland Browns’ defensive backs in 2008, Undlin worked with some talented players at a key position for the defense. Coaching up Eric Wright (Browns, 2008) started off his career. He would then go on to work with Rashean Mathis (Jaguars, 2010), Champ Bailey (Broncos, 2013-2014), Quentin Jammer (Broncos 2013), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Broncos, 2013), Chris Harris (Broncos, 2014), Aqib Talib (Broncos, 2014) T.J. Ward (Broncos, 2014), Malcolm Jenkins (Eagles, 2015-2019), Rodney McLeod (Eagles, 2016-2019) and Ronald Darby (Eagles, 2017-2019).
In Detroit, in addition to formulating the game plan, Undlin will be counted on to help the Lions develop young defensive backs like Tracy Walker, Will Harris, Jamal Agnew and Amani Oruwariye while continuing upon the success that Darius Slay has enjoyed in his career.