ALLEN PARK - The Detroit Lions announced today that they have hired Curtis Modkins as running backs coach/run game coordinator and Bobby Johnson as tight ends coach. Tim Lappano will serve as the team's wide receivers coach and Jeremiah Washburn will serve as offensive line coach.
The team also announced that Danny Crossman, who served as special teams coordinator, will not return.
CURTIS MODKINS: RUNNING BACKS/RUN GAME COORDINATOR
Curtis Modkins enters his sixth year in the NFL and first with the Detroit Lions. For the past three seasons, Modkins was the offensive coordinator/running backs coach for the Buffalo Bills.
During his tenure at Buffalo, Modkins developed the Bills' dynamic backfield featuring Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Bills averaged 4.7 yards per attempt over those three seasons, the fourth best rushing average in the NFL. Spiller registered a 5.4 yards per carry average from 2010-12, second-best in the NFL, and Jackson's 4.5 average over the last three years is 14th best.
In 2012, Modkins coordinated the Bills offense that ranked fourth in rushing average (5.0) and sixth in rushing yards (2,217).
Two years ago (2011), Buffalo was fourth in the NFL (led AFC) with a 4.9-yard average, also fourth-best in Bills history and highest since 1975. Jackson (5.5 avg., 1st in AFC) and Spiller (5.2 avg., 5th in AFC) both finished the year with an average of 5.0-plus yards
In 2010, Buffalo was one of five AFC teams with a 3,000-yard passer and two players with 1,000 scrimmage yards (WR Stevie Johnson and Jackson).
Prior to joining the Bills, Modkins was the running backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2009, and he entered the NFL as the running backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008.
From 2002-07, he worked at Georgia Tech, first as the school's defensive backs coach in 2002 and then as running backs coach from 2003-07. Modkins enjoyed a successful four-year tenure at New Mexico from 1998-2001 as the cornerbacks coach. He started his coaching career at his alma mater, Texas Christian University, where he served as a graduate assistant in 1995, secondary coach in 1996 and was tight ends coach in 1997.
Modkins was a three-time intern through the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program. He worked with the following teams: Philadelphia Eagles (Head Coach Ray Rhodes) in 1997, Dallas Cowboys (Head Coach Chan Gailey) in 1999 and Pittsburgh Steelers (Head Coach Bill Cowher) in 2005.
Modkins was a three-year starter for TCU and a led the Horned Frogs in rushing from 1990-92. He finished his career third on the school's all-time rushing list with 2,763 yards and was twice named second team all-Southwest Conference. He earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1993 and earned his M.L.A. degree in 1997.