Lions Hire Danny Crossman as Special Teams Coordinator

Posted Jan 22, 2010

Allen Park, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions announced today that they have hired Danny Crossman as special teams coordinator. Terms of his contract were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to add Danny (Crossman) to our coaching staff,” said Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz. “He brings a wealth of both college and NFL coaching experience that undoubtedly will have a positive impact on our special teams play. I’ve known Danny for a long time, and I’ve always had tremendous respect for his special teams units.”


Years with Lions: 1
Years in NFL: 8

Danny Crossman arrives in Detroit after working the past seven seasons (2003-09) with the Carolina Panthers, including the previous five seasons (2005-09) as special teams coordinator. He originally joined the Panthers in 2003 as special teams assistant and he also assisted with the team’s strength and conditioning program. This season marks Crossman’s eighth season in the NFL.

During Crossman’s tenure with the Panthers, the team’s kicking and cover groups contributed significantly to the team’s success during his time in Carolina which included three playoff appearances (2003, 2005 and 2008), two NFC South titles (2003 and 2008).The Panthers also finished with at least eight wins five of those seven seasons.

In 2008, the Panthers ranked third in the NFL with an opponent average drive start following kickoffs of 24.7. They were one of only three teams that did not allow an opponent to start a drive following kickoffs past the 50-yard-line. Carolina led the NFL in touchbacks (30) and touchback percentage (33.7), and the team was ninth in the league by allowing a 21.9 opponent kickoff return average.

In his first season (2005) as special teams coach, Crossman’s group ranked among the best in the league. That season, the Panthers ranked ninth in the comprehensive Dallas Morning News special teams ratings which was highlighted with rankings of second in punt coverage and seventh in kickoff coverage.

Under Crossman’s tutelage, Panthers P Jason Baker set the franchise record in net punting average in both 2005 (38.9) and 2006 (39.0). In both seasons, Baker’s net punting average ranked first in the NFC and third in NFL. From 2005-09, Baker ranked eighth in the NFL with a combined net punting average of 38.0.

In 2003, Crossman’s first year assisting the Carolina’s special teams, the Panthers were second in the special teams ratings compiled by the Dallas Morning News.

Crossman entered the pro ranks following 10 seasons as a college coach where he worked with special teams in each season and also coached multiple defensive positions. In 2002, Crossman served as the linebackers and special teams coach at Michigan State.

From 1999-2001, Crossman was on the coaching staff at Georgia Tech. All three seasons, he was the Yellow Jackets special teams coordinator along with defensive ends coach (1999-2000) and defensive backs coach (2001). In both 1999 and 2001, Georgia Tech ranked high nationally in kickoff return average, net punting average and punt return average. Georgia Tech led the ACC in kickoff return average and punt return average during the 2000 season. Two of Crossman’s specialists, K Luke Manget and KR Kelley Rhino, were first-team All-ACC in 2001.

Before arriving at Georgia Tech, Crossman was the defensive backs and special teams coach at Central Florida for two seasons (1997-98). Crossman served a three-year stint (1994-96) at Western Kentucky as special teams and secondary coach (1994-95) and outside linebacker and special teams coach (1996). He entered the coaching ranks in 1993 as the defensive backs and special teams coach at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Crossman earned three letters at the University of Pittsburgh as the team garnered a 22-12-1 record those three seasons and appearances in 1987 Bluebonnet Bowl and 1989 Sun Bowl. He moved to strong safety as a senior and was named team MVP. Crossman earned second-team All-America honors as he recorded 62 tackles and one interception. He originally began his college career at the University of Kansas. As a freshman in 1985, Crossman made eight starts at defensive back, posted 48 tackles, recorded one interception and collected freshman All-America honors.

Following his college playing career, he spent time with the Washington Redskins in 1990 and the Detroit Lions during training camp in 1991. He played for the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football in 1991-92. In the inaugural World Bowl in 1991, he was named MVP in the 21-0 shutout of Barcelona. Crossman intercepted three passes in the championship game and returned one for a 20-yard touchdown.

Crossman earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and communications from Pittsburgh in 1990. He and his wife, Susan, have a son, Kyle, and a daughter, Kaylie.

Carolina Panthers 2003-09
  Special Teams Coordinator 2005-09
  Special Teams Assistant 2003-04
Michigan State 2002
  Linebackers/Special Teams 2002
Georgia Tech 1999-2001
  Defensive Backs/Special Teams 2001
  Special Teams/Defensive Ends 1999-2000
Central Florida 1997-98
  Defensive Backs/Specials Teams 1997-98
Western Kentucky 1994-96
  Outside Linebackers/Special Teams 1996
  Special Teams/Secondary 1994-95
U.S. Coast Guard Academy 1993
  Defensive Backs/Special Teams 1993