Coaches

Chris Scelfo
Tight Ends Coach

Biography

Chris Scelfo is a 28-year veteran of the coaching fraternity and the 2014 campaign marks his seventh NFL season with the Falcons.

His remarkable work with the tight ends in Atlanta has made the Falcons tight ends one of the most dangerous receiving groups in the NFL. In 2014, the Falcons tight ends will be transitioning from first ballot Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez to second-year tight end Levine Toilolo.

Scelfo’s work with the tight ends has helped make the Falcons offense one of the premier units in the NFL, but some of Scelfo’s best work came when pairing with Gonzalez. The two shared a special relationship that transcended the football field. Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame career was cemented during his time with Scelfo.

Since 2009, Gonzalez compiled 409 receptions, 4,187 yards and 35 touchdowns under Scelfo. In just five seasons, Gonzalez made a lasting impact on the club’s record books as he ranks fourth in franchise history in receptions, eighth in receiving yards and tied for fifth in touchdowns. Among players who were targeted at least 500 times during their Falcons career, Gonzalez’s 67.6 reception percentage was the second highest in team history trailing on WR Andre Rison (71.3).

Gonzalez holds NFL records for receptions (1,325), receiving yards (15,127), touchdown catches (111), 100-yard games (31), Pro Bowl appearances (14) and 1,000-yard seasons (four) among tight ends. He was the first tight end in NFL history to record 100 touchdown catches, 1,000 receptions and 15,000 yards. The 17-year veteran accomplished feats equaled by some of the game’s greatest wide outs, including Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Tim Brown.

In 2012, not only did Gonzalez earn his 13th career Pro Bowl nod, but he also continued to re-write the NFL and Falcons record books for tight ends. With Scelfo’s guidance, he led Atlanta in receptions (93) while adding 930 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. His 93 catches in 2012 rank fifth in Falcons annals for the most receptions in a single-season. Gonzalez’s impressive 2012 campaign also moved his total receptions mark as a Falcon to 326, which is the most by a tight end in franchise history. He was named a Associated Press first-team All Pro for his performance in 2012. It marked the ninth time in his career that he was named either first or second-team All Pro by the Associated Press.

Under Scelfo’s direction, Tony Gonzalez was voted to the NFC Pro Bowl for the second straight season and 12th All-Star game overall in his brilliant career in 2011. Gonzalez amassed his second-highest total as a Falcon with 80 receptions (fourth-highest total by all NFL tight ends) for 875 yards and seven touchdowns. He became the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver behind WR Jerry Rice with his 1,149 catches and ranks 11th in League annals with 13,338 receiving yards.

Scelfo’s determined work with undrafted free agent Michael Palmer also paid dividends again in 2011 as the ex-Parkview High School product caught 10 passes for 72 yards, including a clutch touchdown against Minnesota in Week 12 to contribute to a 24-14 victory.

In 2010, Gonzalez totaled 70 receptions for 656 yards and six touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history to record 12 consecutive 60-plus-catch seasons, surpassing Jerry Rice’s previous mark of 11. Also, Gonzalez became the first tight end in NFL history and sixth player overall to register 1,000 career receptions.

Under the watchful eye of Scelfo in 2009, Gonzalez set a then Falcons franchise record for receptions by a tight end in a season with 83 in 2009 while adding 867 receiving yards and six touchdowns. In his first game in a Falcons uniform, Gonzalez not only scored a touchdown, but also became the 21st player in NFL history to top 11,000 career-receiving yards.

Scelfo came to Atlanta in 2008 after spending eight years as one of the most successful head coaches in the history of Tulane University.

In 2006, as Tulane University’s head boss, Scelfo became the school’s career leader for games coached with 94 and ranks second among coaches in victories with 37. He is the only Green Wave head coach in the school’s history with two bowl victories after guiding the university to wins in the 1998 Liberty Bowl and the 2002 Hawaii Bowl. Less than a month after he was hired to lead Tulane (1998), the Green Wave’s victory over BYU in the Liberty Bowl capped a perfect 12-0 campaign.

During his winning stint at Tulane, Scelfo sent nine players to the NFL, including first round draft pick quarterbacks Patrick Ramsey (2002) and J.P. Losman (2004). His teams performed well in the classroom as well, as Scelfo’s student-athletes logged an average graduation rate of 75 percent (2003-06).

In Scelfo’s two previous coaching stops at the University of Georgia (1996-98) and Marshall (1990-95), his teams advanced to postseason in seven of nine seasons while registering eight winning records. At Georgia, Scelfo served as the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line coach while the Bulldogs recorded a 23-11 mark with appearances in the Outback Bowl (1997) and Peach Bowl (1998). He coached three offensive linemen who were first or second round NFL draft picks, including first round choice Matt Stinchcomb and second rounders Adam Meadows and Chris Terry.

During Scelfo’s time at Marshall, the Thundering Herd reached the I-AA national semi-finals five times, the national finals four times and won the 1992 national championship. He coached the offensive line from 1990-92 and was promoted to offensive coordinator from 1993-95, as well as maintaining his offensive line duties. As offensive coordinator, Marshall led the Southern Conference in scoring all three years while grabbing the top spot in total offense for two seasons.

Scelfo began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The Indians won the I-AA national title in 1987, which came on the heels of his playing career at the school then known as Northeast Louisiana. From 1988-89, Scelfo was a graduate assistant at Oklahoma.

As a NLU player, Scelfo was a three-year letterman at center who served as captain his senior season. Scelfo and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter, Sarah Beth and a son, Joseph, who is a redshirt sophomore center at South Alabama. 

Chris is the co-author of “Fourth And New Orleans”, the story of the Tulane Green Wave during and after Hurricane Katrina. He is also a member of the Italian-American Hall of Fame.

Chris Scelfo is a 28-year veteran of the coaching fraternity and the 2014 campaign marks his seventh NFL season with the Falcons.

His remarkable work with the tight ends in Atlanta has made the Falcons tight ends one of the most dangerous receiving groups in the NFL. In 2014, the Falcons tight ends will be transitioning from first ballot Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez to second-year tight end Levine Toilolo.

Scelfo’s work with the tight ends has helped make the Falcons offense one of the premier units in the NFL, but some of Scelfo’s best work came when pairing with Gonzalez. The two shared a special relationship that transcended the football field. Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame career was cemented during his time with Scelfo.

Since 2009, Gonzalez compiled 409 receptions, 4,187 yards and 35 touchdowns under Scelfo. In just five seasons, Gonzalez made a lasting impact on the club’s record books as he ranks fourth in franchise history in receptions, eighth in receiving yards and tied for fifth in touchdowns. Among players who were targeted at least 500 times during their Falcons career, Gonzalez’s 67.6 reception percentage was the second highest in team history trailing on WR Andre Rison (71.3).

Gonzalez holds NFL records for receptions (1,325), receiving yards (15,127), touchdown catches (111), 100-yard games (31), Pro Bowl appearances (14) and 1,000-yard seasons (four) among tight ends. He was the first tight end in NFL history to record 100 touchdown catches, 1,000 receptions and 15,000 yards. The 17-year veteran accomplished feats equaled by some of the game’s greatest wide outs, including Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Tim Brown.

In 2012, not only did Gonzalez earn his 13th career Pro Bowl nod, but he also continued to re-write the NFL and Falcons record books for tight ends. With Scelfo’s guidance, he led Atlanta in receptions (93) while adding 930 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. His 93 catches in 2012 rank fifth in Falcons annals for the most receptions in a single-season. Gonzalez’s impressive 2012 campaign also moved his total receptions mark as a Falcon to 326, which is the most by a tight end in franchise history. He was named a Associated Press first-team All Pro for his performance in 2012. It marked the ninth time in his career that he was named either first or second-team All Pro by the Associated Press.

Under Scelfo’s direction, Tony Gonzalez was voted to the NFC Pro Bowl for the second straight season and 12th All-Star game overall in his brilliant career in 2011. Gonzalez amassed his second-highest total as a Falcon with 80 receptions (fourth-highest total by all NFL tight ends) for 875 yards and seven touchdowns. He became the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver behind WR Jerry Rice with his 1,149 catches and ranks 11th in League annals with 13,338 receiving yards.

Scelfo’s determined work with undrafted free agent Michael Palmer also paid dividends again in 2011 as the ex-Parkview High School product caught 10 passes for 72 yards, including a clutch touchdown against Minnesota in Week 12 to contribute to a 24-14 victory.

In 2010, Gonzalez totaled 70 receptions for 656 yards and six touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history to record 12 consecutive 60-plus-catch seasons, surpassing Jerry Rice’s previous mark of 11. Also, Gonzalez became the first tight end in NFL history and sixth player overall to register 1,000 career receptions.

Under the watchful eye of Scelfo in 2009, Gonzalez set a then Falcons franchise record for receptions by a tight end in a season with 83 in 2009 while adding 867 receiving yards and six touchdowns. In his first game in a Falcons uniform, Gonzalez not only scored a touchdown, but also became the 21st player in NFL history to top 11,000 career-receiving yards.

Scelfo came to Atlanta in 2008 after spending eight years as one of the most successful head coaches in the history of Tulane University.

In 2006, as Tulane University’s head boss, Scelfo became the school’s career leader for games coached with 94 and ranks second among coaches in victories with 37. He is the only Green Wave head coach in the school’s history with two bowl victories after guiding the university to wins in the 1998 Liberty Bowl and the 2002 Hawaii Bowl. Less than a month after he was hired to lead Tulane (1998), the Green Wave’s victory over BYU in the Liberty Bowl capped a perfect 12-0 campaign.

During his winning stint at Tulane, Scelfo sent nine players to the NFL, including first round draft pick quarterbacks Patrick Ramsey (2002) and J.P. Losman (2004). His teams performed well in the classroom as well, as Scelfo’s student-athletes logged an average graduation rate of 75 percent (2003-06).

In Scelfo’s two previous coaching stops at the University of Georgia (1996-98) and Marshall (1990-95), his teams advanced to postseason in seven of nine seasons while registering eight winning records. At Georgia, Scelfo served as the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line coach while the Bulldogs recorded a 23-11 mark with appearances in the Outback Bowl (1997) and Peach Bowl (1998). He coached three offensive linemen who were first or second round NFL draft picks, including first round choice Matt Stinchcomb and second rounders Adam Meadows and Chris Terry.

During Scelfo’s time at Marshall, the Thundering Herd reached the I-AA national semi-finals five times, the national finals four times and won the 1992 national championship. He coached the offensive line from 1990-92 and was promoted to offensive coordinator from 1993-95, as well as maintaining his offensive line duties. As offensive coordinator, Marshall led the Southern Conference in scoring all three years while grabbing the top spot in total offense for two seasons.

Scelfo began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The Indians won the I-AA national title in 1987, which came on the heels of his playing career at the school then known as Northeast Louisiana. From 1988-89, Scelfo was a graduate assistant at Oklahoma.

As a NLU player, Scelfo was a three-year letterman at center who served as captain his senior season. Scelfo and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter, Sarah Beth and a son, Joseph, who is a redshirt sophomore center at South Alabama. 

Chris is the co-author of “Fourth And New Orleans”, the story of the Tulane Green Wave during and after Hurricane Katrina. He is also a member of the Italian-American Hall of Fame.

 

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