Coaches

Jon Hoke
Defensive Backs

Biography

Jon Hoke, in his fifth season as Chicago’s defensive backs coach, was hired on January 13, 2009.

Jon Hoke, in his fifth season as Chicago’s defensive backs coach, was hired on January 13, 2009.

In 2012, under Hoke’s guidance CBs Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman were both named as Pro Bowl starters, the first cornerback tandem to both be named Pro Bowl starters since Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield of the Cleveland Browns in 1988. Jennings was named to his first career Pro Bowl after leading the NFL with nine interceptions, tied for second-most in Bears single-season history. Tillman became the first cornerback to be selected to back-to-back Pro Bowls in Bears history and the team's first defensive back since safety Mark Carrier in 1990-91. In 2012, Tillman led the NFL with a career-high 10 forced fumbles and was named All-Pro by the Associated Press.

Tillman has 13 interceptions, six interception return touchdowns and 23 forced fumbles under Hoke’s tutelage and is now the franchise leader in defensive touchdowns (nine) and interception return scores (eight).

The Bears defensive backs helped a defense that held opposing quarterbacks to a 71.3 passer rating, second lowest in the NFL in 2012. The 79.0 opponent passer rating since 2009 by the Bears is sixth lowest in the NFL during that time and their 78 interceptions are third most.

In 2011, under Hoke’s guidance Tillman, a nine-year veteran at the time, was named to his first career Pro Bowl.

In 2010, S Chris Harris, who is now a defensive quality control coach for Chicago, was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press after recording five interceptions. Tillman returned his five interceptions in 2010 127 yards, third most in the NFL. Tillman’s 25.4 yards per return was third highest in the NFL.

In 2009, second-year cornerback Zackary Bowman ranked tied for fifth in the NFL with six interceptions, the most by a Bears corner since Nathan Vasher had eight in 2006. Tillman ranked second in the NFL in 2009 with six forced fumbles, the most among defensive backs.

Prior to his time in Chicago, the 30-year coaching veteran spent the previous seven seasons (2002-08) as the Houston Texans defensive backs coach after spending three seasons (1999-2001) at the University of Florida as the Gators defensive coordinator/secondary coach. He added the title of assistant head coach in his final two seasons (2000-01) at Florida.

During his time with the Texans, Houston defensive backs accounted for 82.8 percent (72 of 87) of the teams’ interceptions, seventh-highest percentage in the NFL during that span and third-highest in the AFC. In 2002, he coached CB Aaron Glenn to the Pro Bowl.

Prior to his time in Gainesville, Hoke tutored the defensive backs at Missouri for five seasons (1994-98) after spending five years in the same capacity at Kent State (1989-93), adding the title of defensive coordinator in his final season with the Golden Flashes.

Hoke started coaching at Bowling Green in 1983 as the Falcons’ secondary/special teams coach. He spent four seasons in Bowling Green before coaching the defensive backs/special teams at San Diego State from 1987-88.

A four-year letterman at Ball State (1976-79), Hoke earned all-MAC honors as a defensive back. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. Hoke played 11 games for the Chicago Bears in 1980, recording seven tackles. A native of Kettering, Ohio, Hoke and his wife, Jody, have four children: Mallory, Kyle and twins Kendall and Carly.

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