Allen Park, Mich. – The Detroit Lions announced today that they have hired John Bonamego as special teams coordinator.
Bonamego returns to Detroit after most recently serving as the head coach at Central Michigan University for four seasons (2015-18) following two seasons as the Lions special teams coordinator (2013-14). He led the Chippewas to a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division title in 2015 and helped CMU to bowl appearances in each of his first three seasons.
Bonamego brings 16 previous years of experience as a coach in the National Football League. He entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1999 as an assistant special teams coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars and went on to serve as special teams coordinator for the Green Bay Packers (2003-05), New Orleans Saints (2006-07), Miami Dolphins (2008-10) and again with the Jaguars in 2012. He began his coaching career in 1987 as an assistant coach at Mount Pleasant (Mich.) High School before spending 11 years coaching in the college ranks at Maine (1988-91), Lehigh (1992) and Army (1993-98).
A Waynesboro, Pa. native, Bonamego graduated from Paw Paw (Mich.) High School before moving on to Central Michigan, where he played wide receiver and quarterback. In 1987, he earned a degree in health fitness from CMU. He and his wife, Paulette, have three children – Javier, Giovanni and Bellina.