Jim Washburn
Defensive Line


Heralded as one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL, Washburn joined the Detroit Lions coaching staff as assistant defensive line/pass rush specialist in 2013 after serving as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line coach from 2011-2012. Washburn’s stout coaching resume features six defensive linemen he has coached to the Pro Bowl, including Jason Babin, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Kevin Carter, Albert Haynesworth, Jevon Kearse and Ndamukong Suh.


  • The 2014 Lions defensive line was among the best in the league in forcing opponents into negative plays (sacks and tackles for loss on rushing plays). Detroit ranked fifth in sacks by defensive line (34.0), tied for third in TFL on rushing plays by defensive line (26) and second in total negative plays by defensive line with 60.
  • The Lions tied an NFL record for the most games (14) holding opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in a season. The 14 games limiting opponents to less than 100 rushing yards is also a franchise record.
  • DE Ezekiel Ansah followed up on his stellar rookie season by finishing with 7.5 sacks in 2014, giving him 15.5 in his first two NFL seasons. His 15.5 sacks over the last two seasons rank third among all NFL defensive players in their second or third seasons behind only DE Olivier Vernon (18.0) and DE Chandler Jones (17.5).
  • In his first season with the Lions after being drafted fifth overall, rookie DE Ezekiel Ansah led the team in sacks in 2013 with eight, the second most sacks by a Lions rookie since Suh had 10 in 2010.
  • Ansah recorded three multi-sack games, posting two sacks at Washington (9/22), vs. Tampa Bay (11/24) and vs. Green Bay (11/24). His eight sacks also led all NFL rookies.
  • DT Nick Fairley (6.0) and Suh (5.5) combined for 11.5 sacks last season and each recorded a safety. The Lions’ two safeties in 2013 are the most by the team since they had two in 2009.
  • Fairley’s six sacks were tied for eighth among all defensive tackles, and Suh ranked seventh among defensive tackles in combined sacks and tackles for loss on rushing plays with 11.5.
  • The Lions defensive line had their best outing of the season on Thanksgiving Day (11/28) vs. Green Bay, sacking Packers QB Matt Flynn seven times, forcing a fumble and recording a safety.
  • Rookie DE Devin Taylor also emerged as a valuable asset at defensive end as he finished the season with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

In his first year with Philadelphia, Washburn led the Eagles to a League-leading 50 sacks in 2011, 46 of which came from his defensive line unit. Under Washburn’s guidance, Babin notched a career-high 18 sacks and earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl.

Washburn brings 15 years of NFL coaching experience to the Lions, beginning his professional coaching career with the Tennessee Titans as defensive line coach from 1999-2010. During his time in Tennessee, the Titans ranked seventh in the NFL in sacks and fifth in rushing yards allowed. Washburn helped lead the Titans to six playoff berths, three division titles and one AFC championship.

Prior to joining the Titans, Washburn spent more than 20 years coaching in the Arena Football League, NFL Europe and collegiate programs, including defensive line coach positions at Houston (1998), Arkansas (1994-1997) and South Carolina (1983-1988).

Washburn began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Southern Methodist University. A native of Shelby, N.C., he was a four-year letterman at Gardner-Webb College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1973. He later added his master’s degree from North Carolina A&T in 1975.

Washburn was born December 2, 1963. He and his wife, Sandy, have three children, Jessica, Brady, Jeremiah, daughters-in-law Susan and Ashley and seven grandchildren, Allison Grace, Luke, Drew, Avery Jane, Megan, Cash and Noah.


Detroit Lions 2013-

  • Assistant Defensive Line/Pass Rush Specialist 2013-

Philadelphia Eagles 2011-12

  • Defensive Line 2011-12

Tennessee Titans 1999-2010

  • Defensive Line 1999-2010

Houston 1998

  • Defensive Line 1998

Arkansas 1994-97

  • Defensive Line 1994-97

Charlotte Rage 1993

  • Assistant Coach 1993

London Monarchs 1991-92

  • Defensive Coordinator 1992
  • Defensive Line 1991

Charlotte Barons 1990

  • Head Coach 1990

South Carolina 1983-88

  • Defensive Line 1983-88

New Mexico 1980-82

  • Defensive Line 1980-82

Livingston 1979

  • Defensive Coordinator 1979

Lees-McRae 1977-78

  • Defensive Coordinator 1977-78

Southern Methodist 1976

  • Graduate Assistant 1976

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