Chatman Named Defensive Line Coach
BOULDER — University of Colorado head football coach Karl Dorrell filled the last vacancy on his coaching staff Monday afternoon, as he announced the hiring of Gerald Chatman has the Buffaloes' new defensive line coach.
Chatman, 33, joins the Colorado staff from Tulane University, where he was named the Green Waves' defensive line coach in January. He had moved southeast some 50 miles from Louisiana State University, where he served as the defensive line analyst for the 2021 season and would have been retained by the Tigers' new head coach, Brian Kelly, had it not been for an opportunity to coach on the field.
"Gerald is a young, passionate coach that is excited about joining our staff," Dorrell said. "He will bring energy, skill development, interpersonal and leadership skills to mentor our young men. He has experience on the both the college and NFL levels, and I believe has a very bright future in our profession."
"My family and I are excited to be a part of the CU and the football program under the leadership of coach Dorrell and athletic director Rick George," Chatman said. "It is clear that a great foundation has been built under their leadership and I look forward to getting to work, leading and maximizing the potential of those I get to work with daily. I am excited to get to work!"
Chatman spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals as a defensive assistant, where he worked primarily with the team's defensive ends and outside linebackers. He helped the defensive line improve significantly in quarterback sacks and rushing yards allowed those two seasons that set up Cincinnati's run to the Super Bowl last fall, and while with the Bengals, coached former Buff defensive tackle Josh Tupou among a group that included Geno Atkins, Sam Hubbard, Carlos Dunlap, Mike Daniels and Carl Lawson.
He has worked with three NFL teams as a defensive coaching intern through the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program, which takes place during summer camps. He spent the summer of 2015 as a defensive coaching intern with the Green Bay Packers, where he assisted with both the defensive line and linebacker units. He was also selected to participate in the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy that season. He spent a portion of the 2016 NFL preseason as a defensive coaching intern with the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos, and then in 2018, he had his first position with the Bengals, working OTA's (organized team activities) and camp.
Before his time with the Bengals, Chatman rose through the college coaching ranks. He spent 2017-18 at Tennessee State University, where he worked as the defensive ends and linebackers coach in 2017, and then had special teams coordinator duties added to his chores for the 2018 season. That year, he coached three special teams players to All-Ohio Valley Conference honors, including Chris Rowland, the OVC special teams player of the year (he averaged 13.0 yards per punt return). He also coached end Mekhi Brown to second-team All-OVC honors, after posting 6.5 tackles for losses and four sacks.
In 2017, his first at Tennessee State, he helped guide the Tigers' defense to average yields of just 19.6 points and 278.5 yards per game, good for a No. 7 FCS ranking in total defense. He had moved on to TSU from Elon University, where he was the defensive line coach for the 2016 campaign.
In 2015, Chatman was a graduate assistant at Texas A&M University, where he worked primarily with the defensive line. The Aggies posted an 8-5 record and played in the Music City Bowl, with his coaching assisted defensive end Myles Garrett to All-SEC and All-America honors. That year, he was also selected to participate in the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy.
Chatman spent the 2014 campaign as the defensive line coach and assistant recruiting coordinator at Butler University. The D-Line played a key role in the Bulldogs leading the Pioneer Football League in rushing defense and being second in sacks in posting a 4-7 record, but with three one-score losses.
He was a defensive graduate assistant at Ball State University for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with the Cardinals going 19-7 over those two years (13-3 in Mid-American Conference games). BSU earned bowl invitations both seasons (versus UCF in the 2012 Beef O'Brady's and against Arkansas in the 2013 GoDaddy.com; the Cardinal gave the Razorbacks a run for their money in the latter, falling in the final minute, 23-20). He helped oversee the development of Cardinals DE Jonathan Newsome, who earned first-team All-MAC honors and later was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Chatman graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Educational Leadership and Human Service, and earned his master's degree in Adult and Community Education from Ball State in 2013. He earned four letters playing both defensive end and tackle for the Titans from 2006-10, and got his start in coaching at his alma mater, as the defensive line coach for the 2010 and 2011 seasons before moving on to Ball State.
A native of Milwaukee, Wis., he is married to the former Lauren Hoffmann and the couple has three daughters, Kinley, Amelia and Maya.