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Dunbar named defensive line coach

Posted Feb 8, 2018

The Steelers named Karl Dunbar defensive line coach; John Mitchell to remain assistant head coach.

The latest change to the Steelers coaching staff is the addition of Karl Dunbar as the team’s defensive line coach. John Mitchell, who held that role since 1994 and was assistant head coach/defensive line since 2007, will remain as assistant head coach.
  
Dunbar is a former All-SEC defensive lineman from LSU, playing from 1986-89. During Dunbar’s time as a player at LSU, Mitchell was the school’s linebackers coach. His Steelers connections don’t stop there. He was selected by the Steelers in the eighth round of the 1990 NFL Draft out of LSU, but didn’t make the final roster. He did however play three seasons in the NFL, one with the New Orleans Saints (1993) and two with the Arizona Cardinals (1994-95).

Coach Mike Tomlin is familiar with Dunbar as the two worked together on the staff of the Minnesota Vikings. Dunbar was the defensive line coach in 2006 when Mike Tomlin was defensive coordinator.

“It’s awesome to be back,” said Dunbar. “This team drafted me out of college. Just to be back and the nostalgia of Pittsburgh, the mystic of Pittsburgh, the workman’s mentality. Hopefully I can bring that to the team.

“Having the relationship with Mike and some of the coaches on the staff. Knowing Coach Mitchell, who was a coach at LSU when I played. A lot of things he did, I do. I will lean on him to help me get to know the guys in the defensive line room and hopefully make it a great transition.”

He comes to the Steelers with 11 years of experience as a defensive line coach in the NFL. He spent one season with the Chicago Bears (2004), before moving onto the Vikings where he coached from 2006-2011. From there Dunbar went to the New York Jets (2012-14) and Buffalo Bills (2015) defensive lines.

Dunbar also has coached in the collegiate ranks, most recently at the University of Alabama where he was the defensive line coach from 2016-17.

While at Alabama he helped with the development of a dominating defensive front that in 2016 led the nation in rushing defense (63.9 yards per game)  and was fourth in sacks (3.60 per game).  

His coaching career began on the high school level in his hometown of Opelousas, Louisiana. He then headed to the college ranks when he was the defensive line coach at Nicholls State from 1998-99. From there he returned to LSU to serve as the school’s strength and conditioning coach from 2000-2001, and then to Oklahoma State where he was the defensive line coach from 2002-03. He returned to LSU in 2005 as the defensive line coach.

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