Coaches

Joe DeCamillis
Special Teams Coord./Asst. Head Coach

Biography

Joe DeCamillis is in his second season as Chicago’s assistant head coach/special teams coordinator, after being hired by the franchise on January 16, 2013.

DeCamillis has 26 years of experience coaching special teams in the NFL. In 21 of his 26 years as an NFL coach, a player on DeCamillis' special teams unit has returned either a punt or a kickoff for a touchdown, with a total of 27 kick return touchdowns (17 punt and 10 kickoff). He has helped coach a punter (Mat McBriar) and returner (Allen Rossum) to Pro Bowl nods. In 2009, DeCamillis was named Dallas’ Ed Block Courage Award winner as voted by the Cowboy players.

Joe DeCamillis is in his second season as Chicago’s assistant head coach/special teams coordinator, after being hired by the franchise on January 16, 2013.

DeCamillis has 26 years of experience coaching special teams in the NFL. In 21 of his 26 years as an NFL coach, a player on DeCamillis' special teams unit has returned either a punt or a kickoff for a touchdown, with a total of 27 kick return touchdowns (17 punt and 10 kickoff). He has helped coach a punter (Mat McBriar) and returner (Allen Rossum) to Pro Bowl nods. In 2009, DeCamillis was named Dallas’ Ed Block Courage Award winner as voted by the Cowboy players.

In 2013, the Bears finished second in punt return average (14.2 yards per return), including an 81-yard punt return touchdown. Under DeCamillis’ guidance, Chicago’s average starting point after kickoffs ranked fourth in the league at the 24.2-yard line.

The Bears coverage units excelled under DeCamillis in 2013 as Chicago allowed a league low 18.8 yards per kickoff return and ranked sixth in punt coverage (7.4 yards per return), including allowing just one punt return of 20-plus yards.

Bears kicker Robbie Gould tied his own franchise record in field goal percentage in DeCamillis’ first season with the team, connecting on 26-of-29 field goal attempts (89.7 percent). Gould hit a franchise record 58-yard field goal in Week 1 of the 2013 season.

Prior to his arrival in Chicago, DeCamillis spent four seasons as the special teams coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. In 2012, Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey was tied for second in the NFL in field goal accuracy, connecting on 93.5 percent of his attempts (29 of 31) and Dwayne Harris finished second in the league in punt returns averaging 16.1 yards per return (354 yards and one touchdown on 22 returns). Bailey also set a franchise mark with 30 touchbacks on kickoffs, which are now second most in team history. The Cowboys were also sixth in kickoff coverage allowing just 22 yards per return.

A year earlier, under DeCamillis tutelage, Bailey, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent finished with 32 field goals made, fifth all-time among NFL rookie kickers.

DeCamillis oversaw McBriar’s Pro Bowl campaign in 2010 when he led the NFL in both gross (47.9) and net (41.7) punting averages. The rookie combination of Dez Bryant (two) and Bryan McCann (one) combined for a team-record three punt return touchdowns. Kicker David Buehler was fourth in the NFL with 22 touchbacks.

In his first season with Dallas, DeCamillis led the unit to a fourth-place finish in the special teams rankings compiled by the Dallas Morning News’ Rick Gosselin after the team finished 27th a year before his arrival. During 2009, Dallas ranked second in the NFL in opponent starting field position after kickoffs (22.8-yard line) and sixth in punt returns (10.9 yards per return), after finishing 20th and 30th respectively in 2008. Patrick Crayton had a punt return touchdown in back-to-back contests, the second player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. McBriar set a franchise record that year with 38 punts downed inside-the-20.

DeCamillis came to Dallas by way of Jacksonville, spending two seasons (2007-08) coaching the Jaguars special teams. In Jacksonville, DeCamillis’ kickoff coverage units ranked fourth in the NFL in 2007 (25.8-yard line) and first in 2008 (24.5) in opponent starting point after kickoffs. His 2008 squad held the league’s third lowest opponent kickoff return average at 19.9 yards per return. 

Prior to his time in Jacksonville, DeCamillis led Atlanta’s special teams units for 10 years (1997-2006). In those 10 seasons the Falcons punt coverage allowed an NFL-low 6.1 yards per return with just one touchdown, finishing first overall in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2004 and second overall in 1998 and 2002 . Atlanta was second in the NFL during DeCamillis’ tenure with eight kickoff return touchdowns and 13 total return touchdowns.

Five different Falcons had kick return touchdowns under DeCamillis tutelage, led by Derrick Vaughn’s four, which are second most in franchise history. In 2004, Rossum was named to the Pro Bowl after finishing second in the league with a 12.4 punt return average.

In 2002, DeCamillis helped kicker Jay Feely establish Falcons single-season records for points (138) and field goals made (32), which now both stand as second-best in franchise annals. 

DeCamillis began his coaching career in Denver as defensive quality control and assistant special teams coach from 1989-92 before spending four seasons (1993-96) as special teams coach with the New York Giants.

DeCamillis and his wife, Dana, have two daughters, Caitlin and Ashley.

 

Recent Articles

Recent Videos

  • DeCamillis: Continuing to work

    Posted Oct 15, 2014

    Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis addresses the media following practice Wednesday at Halas Hall.

  • Uncut: DeCamillis presser 10.15.14

    Posted Oct 15, 2014

    Miss the live stream of special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis' press conference Wednesday? Watch it in its entirety right here.

  • Bears Buzz: Bears-Falcons

    Posted Oct 10, 2014

    A roundup of players and coaches speaking throughout the week as the Bears prepare to head to the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons.

  • DeCamillis: Hester will be a challenge

    Posted Oct 8, 2014

    Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis discusses the challenge of preparing for former Bears kick returner Devin Hester.