FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – A day after adding Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey to the coaching staff, the Atlanta Falcons named Ben Kotwica their special teams coordinator on Wednesday.
Shortly after the 2018 regular season, the Falcons parted ways with all three of their coordinators. All three positions are now filled with Falcons head coach Dan Quinn taking over as defensive coordinator, Koetter as the offensive coordinator and now the addition Kotwica. Mularkey, a three-time NFL head coach, will coach the tight ends.
Kotwica, 44, has spent the last five seasons as the special teams coordinator for the Washington Redskins. Prior to that, he held a number of different positions with the New York Jets from 2007-13, including special teams quality control and special teams coordinator.
Football Outsiders, an analytics website, ranked the Redskins eighth in the league following the 2018 season in a metric that takes every special teams phase into account.
According to the Redskins team site, Kotwica helped the Redskins rank second in the NFL during the 2017 seasons in kickoff return average allowed at 18.7 yards per return, the team's lowest average allowed since 2001 (17.2).
Prior to coaching in the NFL, Kotwica played linebacker at the U.S. Military Academy from 1993-96 and was a three-year starter. He spent eight years in the military, is a decorated officer – he was awarded with the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star – and his service includes operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea and Iraq.
Kotwica eventually began his coaching career at the U.S. Military Academy and served as the defensive coordinator from 2005-06.