Five years later, he’s now armed with his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in sports management, and he’s a defensive assistant in the NFL.
In our continuing series looking deeper into the new members of Head Coach Joe Philbin’s staff, we introduce you to Bullen and give you a better look at his background and his style.
NFL Coaching Experience: This will be Bullen’s first foray into professional coaching after five years working on the collegiate level.
College Coaching Experience: After spending time as a volunteer assistant coach at Iowa City High School in 2006, Bullen moved on to the University of Iowa, where he spent two seasons as a student assistant while he completed work on his bachelor’s degree. Bullen then became a graduate assistant for the Hawkeyes, and he spent the last three years helping out with the Iowa defense.
Playing Career Summary: Bullen played quarterback at Harper College, a junior college in Palatine, Ill.
Did You Know?: Bullen was a member of the 2003 Harper College team that won the non-scholarship junior-college national title.
By The Numbers: Bullen was among 34 individuals part of a group that visited U.S. troops in Germany and the Persian Gulf prior to the 2010 season. The 13-day tour, which included eight stops over 17,000 miles, was organized by Morale Entertainment and sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment and the United Services Organization. Iowa finished in the top 10 nationally in 2010 in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense.
Dolphins Connections: Bullen’s two seasons as a student assistant at Iowa were spent working with offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe, the new wide receivers coach for the Dolphins.
Off The Field: Bullen likes to golf and also likes to fish, so he’s come to the right place. He also likes to stay active. “Being around people and staying on the move, I like doing that,” he says.
Bullen On His Coaching Philosophy: “I’m relatively young, so I’m kind of still gathering it, but definitely you’ve got to care for the people you’re working with, coaches and players. That’s why I am pursuing this career is the interaction with other people, coaches and players. I think it starts there. In order for a player to respect or listen to you, they need to know that you genuinely do care about them and as a coach it’s your obligation to provide the expertise to the players that you’re working with. Myself, kind of starting out, it’s part of my excitement to be here and to learn from these guys to sharpen my sword and gain expertise as I move forward to be able to share with the players I’ll come in contact with.”
Bullen On Joining The Dolphins: “I’m very excited about it. For me in my young career, to be involved with this organization, Coach Philbin and the other great coaches on the staff, I’m very fortunate to be here and excited to learn from them and excited to contribute any way that I can.”