New Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is putting the finishing touches on his coaching staff, and he believes one of his under-the-radar hires is a star in the making.
Defensive backs coach Derrek Ansley spent the last two years of his career at Alabama as the defensive backs coach under Nick Saban, and he helped the Crimson Tide win another national title.
Gruden discussed his coaching hires with the Mercury News, and he said believes Ansley will be a star in the near future.
“I think Derrek Ansley is going to be a star in this profession,” Gruden said. “Going to be a great secondary coach. Really excited to get him.”
Ansley played college football at Troy and graduated in 2004, and he served as the defensive backs coach at Huntingdon College from 2005 to 2009, according to Silver and Black Pride.
He then served as a graduate assistant in 2010 and 2011 before joining Tennessee as the defensive backs coach in 2012. He was the defensive backs coach at Kentucky from 2013-2015 before returning to Alabama for the last two years.
Before being hired by the Raiders, Ansley was actually hired to become the defensive coordinator at Colorado State. But when Gruden called and offered him the DB job with Raiders, he took that job instead.
Ansley has had several NFL caliber defensive backs to work with over the last two years, including Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Tony Brown and Anthony Averett. Fitzpatrick and Harrison could both end up being first round picks in the upcoming draft.
Ansley is only in his mid-30s, so if Gruden’s prediction comes true, we’ll be hearing plenty more from Ansley in the near future.