HOUSTON - The Houston Texans announced today that they have filled two vacancies on Dom Capers' coaching staff by hiring Tom Olivadotti as linebackers coach and Tony Oden as defensive assistant/assistant secondary coach.
"We're pleased to have Tom and Tony on our staff," said Texans head coach Dom Capers.
A 37-year coaching veteran including 20 in the NFL, Olivadotti, replaces Reggie Herring, who left the Texans to become the defensive coordinator at North Carolina State. During his 19 previous seasons in the NFL, Olivadotti's teams have made the playoffs 12 times, won six division titles and one conference title. He joins Houston following four seasons (2000-2004) as the linebackers coach of the N.Y. Giants
In 1967, Olivadotti started his coaching career as an assistant high school coach in New Jersey and became the head coach at Salesianum High School in Wilmington, DE in 1972. He then spent eight years at the collegiate level: 1976-77, Princeton University (linebackers, offensive line);1978-79, Boston College (defensive coordinator and linebackers); 1980-83, University of Miami (defensive coordinator and linebackers). He finished his collegiate career by defeating Nebraska to win Miami's first of three national championships in the 1980's.
Olivadotti broke into the NFL coaching ranks with the Cleveland Browns as linebackers coach (1985). He moved back to Miami in 1987 and became the Dolphins' defensive coordinator and held that position for Miami through the 1995 season. In 1996, Olivadotti became the inside linebackers coach for the Minnesota Vikings and stayed there for four seasons.
As a player, Olivadotti was a four-year letter winner at Upsala College (1963-1966) where he was a starter at defensive back, linebacker and wide receiver. He also lettered in baseball and track. Olivadotti earned his degree in business from Upsala. After graduating, he played semi-professional football while coaching high school football in New Jersey.
Oden is entering his first NFL season as the Texans' defensive assistant/assistant secondary coach. Oden earned All-America honors at linebacker and a degree in Psychology from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, OH. He also has NFL experience as the summer intern for the Green Bay Packers (1999) and the Cleveland Browns (2001).
Oden began his coaching career as assistant secondary coach for Millersville University (1996). As he was pursuing a masters degree, he spent a season as a graduate assistant for Boston College (1997). He then coached the next two seasons at West Point (1998-99) before a three-year stint at East Carolina University (2000-02). In 2003, he became the secondary coach for Eastern Michigan University, helping them become the most improved defense in total yards surrendered in Division I-A. Just prior to his new job with the Texans, Oden was hired as the secondary coach for Central Michigan.