FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons have hired Jess Simpson as their new defensive line coach after Bryant Young announced he was stepping down from the role to spend more time with his family.
"We fully support and respect coach Young in this transition as it's the right decision for him and his family," coach Dan Quinn said. "At the same time, we are excited to bring Jess back to the staff. His existing knowledge of our scheme and familiarity with our players will help add to the strength of our defense in 2019."
Simpson spent the 2018 season as the defensive line coach at the University of Miami, where he helped the Hurricanes finish as one of the top defenses in the country and record 40 sacks, the 11th-most in the nation.
Prior to joining the Hurricanes, Simpson was a defensive assistant with the Falcons in 2017. Simpson came to the Falcons after spending 22 years on the Buford (Ga.) High School coaching staff, including 12 years as the program's head coach. During his time with the team, Simpson helped the Wolves win 10 state titles, seven of which were won while he was head coach.
As Buford's head coach, Simpson compiled an astounding 164-12 record – a .932 win percentage – and earned the reputation as one of the most successful coaches in the history of Georgia prep football.
Young played 14 seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, ending his distinguished career with 89.5 sacks. He joined the Falcons in 2017 and helped the Falcons' defensive line generate 58.5 sacks during his two years with the team.
"Over the past four years, I have learned the importance of keeping my family and those I love close," Young said. "Unfortunately, due to health concerns and the season of life my family is in, we have not been able to be together as a family. One thing my son Colby taught me is to not take tomorrow for granted. Under the weight of those considerations, I have made the difficult decision not to coach this year with the Falcons. It was not an easy decision as I think highly of the Falcons organization and the staff I have worked with the past two years.
"I would like to thank Dan Quinn, Thomas Dimitroff, Arthur Blank and the entire Falcons organization for this incredible opportunity to be a part of something special. I have always appreciated and been grateful for the opportunity to grow under Dan Quinn as a player and coach, and I hope my time being here has added value in trying to pursue a championship. In Brotherhood."