Coaches

Charlie Bullen enters his sixth season with the Dolphins and second as the team’s assistant linebackers coach, having been named to the position on Jan. 25, 2016. Bullen originally joined the organization as the team’s defensive assistant on Feb. 10, 2012. He also served three seasons as the team’s assistant defensive line coach (2013-15).
Charlie Bullen enters his sixth season with the Dolphins and second as the team’s assistant linebackers coach, having been named to the position on Jan. 25, 2016. Bullen originally joined the organization as the team’s defensive assistant on Feb. 10, 2012. He also served three seasons as the team’s assistant defensive line coach (2013-15).

In his first season as assistant linebackers coach, Bullen helped linebacker Kiko Alonso become on the AFC’s leading tacklers. Alonso’s 115 total stops (69 solo) were ninth in the conference and led the team. Alonso also had a game-winning interception return for a touchdown in Week 10 at San Diego to give the Dolphins a 31-24 lead with 1:01 to play, the latest interception return for a touchdown to win a game for the Dolphins since at least 1991. Alonso also became the first Dolphins linebacker since at least 1993 to intercept a pass and recover a fumble in the same game in Week 12 vs. San Francisco.

Bullen was part of a defensive staff that helped the Dolphins finish fourth in the NFL in third-down conversion percentage (36.2 pct.) in 2016. Miami won nine of its final 11 games, posting 11 takeaways which tied for fourth in the NFL during that span. The timely stops and takeaways helped the Dolphins finish 10-6 and earn a playoff berth for the first time since 2008.

As a defensive line assistant from 2013-15, Bullen helped defensive ends Cameron Wake (27.0) and Olivier Vernon (25.5) both rank among the NFL’s top 20 players in total sacks during that period. Miami was the only NFL team to have two players among the top 20 in sacks in those three seasons. As a team, the Dolphins ranked in the top half of the NFL with 154 sacks in the four seasons that Bullen worked with the defensive line.

In 2015, Bullen helped Wake join Julius Peppers as the only two players in the NFL to total seven-plus sacks in each of the past six seasons. Wake accomplished the feat despite playing in just seven games due to injury. Wake also totaled four sacks in the win at Tennessee (10/18), tying for the fifth-most sacks in a single game in team history. Miami joined Chicago, New England and Philadelphia as one of just four teams in the NFL to have three players record at least six sacks in the 2015 campaign (Vernon, 7.5; Wake, 7.0; Ndamukong Suh, 6.0).

Bullen assisted with a defensive line that accounted for 30.5 of the team’s 39 sacks in 2014. Leading the pass rush was defensive end Cameron Wake, who finished the season with 11.5 sacks and earned his fourth trip to the Pro Bowl. Along with Wake, fellow defensive end Olivier Vernon added 6.5 sacks, bringing his career total to 21.5 sacks, tied for the second-most sacks by a player in their first three NFL seasons with the Dolphins.

In 2013, Bullen helped guide a unit that contributed 34 of the defense’s 42 sacks which was the third-consecutive season that the defense had recorded 40-plus sacks and marked the first time in team history the team had accomplished this feat in three straight seasons. Additionally, the Dolphins were one of only four NFL teams to record 40 or more sacks in each of the 2011-13 seasons. Wake earned his third Pro Bowl nod in 2013 with 8.5 sacks and Vernon notched a team-high 11.5 sacks.

Bullen assisted a defense that finished seventh in the NFL and third in the AFC in points allowed per game (19.8) in 2012. The defense’s 42.6 percent of red zone touchdowns allowed was the lowest figure in the NFL. Bullen spent a lot of time helping the defensive line, which featured two players who were selected to the Pro Bowl, Wake and Randy Starks. Wake ranked No. 3 in the AFC and No. 4 in the NFL with 15 sacks and that total also tied for the sixth-highest single-season sack total in Dolphins history.

Prior to Miami, Bullen spent the 2009-11 seasons as a graduate assistant coach working with the defense at the University of Iowa. Bullen also served as a student assistant for two seasons (2007-08), working with the Hawkeye quarterbacks while completing work towards his bachelor’s degree.

Bullen served as a volunteer assistant coach at Iowa City High School in 2006, working with the quarterbacks.

Prior to attending Iowa, Bullen played quarterback at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. Bullen earned his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2008 and a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Iowa in 2011.

Bullen, along with the Dolphins’ defensive linemen, participated in the “All-Community Team” program under the group name “First Line of Defense.” As part of the program, Bullen and the defensive line purchased tickets, food vouchers, T-shirts and parking to each of the team’s regular season home games and donated them to a charitable organization.

A member of the American Football Coaches Association, Bullen is a native of Palatine, Illinois. He and his wife, Megan, have a daughter, Elle, and reside in Davie.

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