Inside The Coaching Staff: Mike Sherman

Posted Feb 21, 2012

Now that new Head Coach Joe Philbin has filled out his coaching staff, can give you a broader glimpse into what each new coach brings to the team.

Today we introduce you to new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who actually gave Philbin his first NFL coaching job back in 2003. Sherman hired Philbin as his assistant offensive line coach and now Philbin has returned the favor.

NFL Coaching Experience: Sherman’s first NFL job came with the Green Bay Packers where he was their tight ends/assistant offensive line coach from 1995-97. He moved onto Seattle for one year in 1999 where he was offensive coordinator/tight ends and then he got his first head-coaching job back with the Packers in 2000. After six seasons at the helm in Green Bay through the end of 2005, Sherman spent the 2006 season with the Houston Texans as assistant head coach/offense and then was named assistant head coach/offensive coordinator in 2007.

College Coaching Experience: Back in 1981, Sherman began the first of two years at the University of Pittsburgh as a graduate assistant before moving onto Tulane as the offensive line coach from 1983-94. From there it was off to Holy Cross for three years, two as offensive line coach (1985-87) and one as offensive coordinator in 1988. Sherman started the first of three separate stints at Texas A&M in 1989 as the Aggies’ offensive line coach, where he stayed from 1989-93. He left for UCLA in 1994 where he spent one season as offensive line coach before returning to Texas A&M from 1995-97 as offensive line coach and then was promoted to offensive coordinator/offensive line in the spring of 1997. His third and most recent stint at Texas A&M began on November 26th, 2007 when he was named the school’s 28th head coach and he stayed in that role through the end of the 2011 season where he coached quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Playing Career Summary: Sherman played defensive end and offensive tackle at Central Connecticut State University.

Did You Know?: Sherman succeeded Ron Wolf as General Manager of the Packers in 2001, taking on the dual role of Head Coach and General Manager. Although the promotion of Sherman to GM was made prior to the 2001 NFL Draft, Wolf handled the actual draft duty in 2001. Sherman brought in three of the core players that were on the Packers 2010 roster. He drafted Nick Barnett (2003 Rd 1 #29), Scott Wells, (2004 Rd 7 #251 – complimentary pick), and acquired Cullen Jenkins as a rookie free agent after the 2003 draft. Also, while he was a graduate assistant on Jackie Sherrill’s staff at Pitt from 1981-82, Sherman wasn't able to afford an apartment; instead, he slept on a cot in Pitt Stadium.

By The Numbers: Sherman’s 53-27 record over his first five years in Green Bay was second only to the great Vince Lombardi in Packers history. … He led Green Bay to three consecutive NFC North titles from 2002-04. … In 2003, his Packers offense scored a total of 442 points, which was just 14 points shy of the franchise record of 456 set in 1996 when they won Super Bowl XXXI. The following season his offense scored 424 point, fourth-best all-time. … During the 2007 season with the Houston Texans, Sherman’s offense set franchise records for touchdowns (43), total net yards (5,337) and passing yards (3,751). In 2006, All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson set franchise marks with 103 receptions for 1,147 yards and quarterback David Carr led the NDL with a 68.3 completion percentage. … And during his four years running the show with the Aggies at Texas A&M, Sherman compiled a 25-25 record and led the school to three bowl appearances (Independence Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Meineke Car Care Bowl) as well as the Big 12 South Division title. His pro-style offense helped raise the draft stock of Tannehill.

Dolphins Connections: Sherman was a part-time coach at the University of Pittsburgh from 1981-82, during Miami Dolphins Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Marino’s junior and senior years.

Off The Field: Sherman has been married to his wife Karen since 1982, and the two have five children, Sarah, Emily, Matt, Ben, and Selena. Sarah is married to former Nebraska quarterback and current Dolphins Assistant Quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor and the couple gave Sherman his first grandson, Brooks.

Sherman On His Coaching Philosophy: “Basically, Joe and I share a lot of the similar philosophies. We were a West Coast offense when I was in Green Bay and I did it when I was in Seattle as a coordinator and Houston as a coordinator and also at Texas &M. I think that’s the advantage that Ryan Tannehill has now is that he’s been in that type of system and people can evaluate him from there. So Joe and I are not that far apart. Our basic philosophy is let’s see what our players can do and put them in positions to be successful. I think any coach that says, ‘This is what I do and the players have to do it,’ that’s not me. I think you have to be flexible and I’ve been around here doing this for 30 years and so I have basic principles that I adhere to. But you really have to look at your players and what they’re capable of doing and get your playmakers to make plays, move the chains and score touchdowns.”

Sherman On Joining The Dolphins: “I was fortunate when I left A&M in that I did have some opportunities to do some different things around the league but this one really attracted me. Obviously, my relationship with Joe Philbin was certainly one of the overriding factors because I know what I’m getting with Joe. What you see is what you get with Joe and there will be no surprises. He’ll be the same guy in a different authority situation but he’ll be the same person as a head coach as he was when he was an assistant coach when he worked with me but now he’s the boss. I have a lot of confidence in Joe and I think he’ll lead this team to great things. The other part of the equation was that Joe convinced me of the commitment of the organization. When he talked to me about the job I didn’t just jump in the boat. I wanted to know more about it. I came down and looked at some tape and I asked him about Mr. Ross because I don’t know Mr. Ross and I asked if he’s committed to this adventure and for us to and win a Super Bowl and Joe said, ‘Most definitely. That’s what he wants to do. He wants to win a Super Bowl with the Miami Dolphins. He’s passionate about it and he’s obsessed about it,’ so that really excited me.”
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