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Chris Rumph

Defensive Line

College: South Carolina

Hometown: St. Matthews, SC


Chris Rumph was hired as defensive line coach of the Bears on Jan. 28, 2021. He enters his 20th season of coaching in 2021, including his second in the NFL. Rumph joins the Bears defensive staff after spending the 2020 season with the Houston Texans where he coached outside linebackers.

An 18-year veteran in the collegiate ranks at the highest level, Rumph helped develop 25 NFL Draft selections at some of the top FBS football programs in the country, including a stint at Alabama that yielded back-to-back National Championships.

Most recently with the Texans in 2020, Rumph helped guide defensive leader J.J. Watt to yet another season that gave opposing quarterbacks trouble, adding 52 tackles, 5.0 sacks, 14 tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles in his 10th NFL season. Whitney Mercilus also played a key role on the Texans' defense, logging 21 tackles, 4.0 sacks and five tackles-for-loss from the outside linebacker position.

Prior to joining the Texans' staff, Rumph spent two seasons as the co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at the University of Tennessee. The 2019 Vols closed out the season with six consecutive wins, including a TaxSlayer Gator Bowl victory over Indiana, to reach the eight-win mark for the first time since 2016. In his first season on campus in 2018, the Vol defense was one of the most improved in the FBS, jumping 74 spots in run defense with opponents rushing for nearly 100 yards less than in 2017. The Vol defense also moved up 45 spots nationally in third-down defense with opponents converting just 39 percent of their third downs in 2018 compared to 45 percent in 2017.

Rumph joined the University of Florida staff as the defensive line coach in 2015 and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator prior to the 2017 season. He served as the Gators' full-time defensive coordinator for the final four games of the season after Randy Shannon was promoted to interim head coach. During his tenure in Gainesville, UF produced a bevy of talent along the defensive line, including five NFL Draft picks in Taven Bryan (2018), Caleb Brantley (2017), Joey Ivie (2017), Alex McCalister (2016) and Jonathan Bullard (2016).

Bryan became the third Rumph defensive line product to be drafted in the first round in 2018 after a season where he captured All-SEC Second Team honors and totaled 40 tackles, six tackles-for-loss and 4.0 sacks for the Gators. Brantley garnered All-SEC second-team honors in 2016 while Bullard was named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and was a unanimous All-SEC first-team selection in 2015. Bullard was also named a first-team All-American by and Pro Football Focus before being selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Bears.

Under Rumph's direction in 2016, Florida ranked fifth in the SEC in rushing defense (144.5 yards per game) and finished fourth in the conference with 31 sacks. The Gators owned four of the 20 lowest-allowed rushing totals by SEC teams throughout the 2016 season.

In 2015, the Gators were one of the nation's best at getting to the quarterback, registering 40 sacks, which ranked fifth nationally, and tied for the sixth highest total in program history. Florida also featured a stout rush defense that ranked 25th in the country, giving up just 128.1 yards per game on the ground. The Gators held their opponents to only 3.53 yards per carry, which ranked tied for 17th among FBS programs.

Before heading to Florida, Rumph spent one season at the University of Texas as the program's assistant head coach for defense/defensive line. Under Rumph, the Longhorns had one of the nation's top defensive lines and ranked 12th in the country with 40 sacks. Texas finished the season ranked 26th in the FBS in total defense (348.5 avg.).

The Longhorn's 2014 defense was led by defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who was a consensus All-American and a finalist for the Nagurski and Outland Trophies. Brown was selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Fellow defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway also had a big season for the Longhorns, ranking second on the team with six sacks – which also ranked second among defensive tackles in the Big 12 – and 11 tackles-for-loss. Ridgeway was a fourth-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Rumph spent three seasons as defensive line coach for Nick Saban at Alabama from 2011-13 and was part of the Crimson Tide's back-to-back BCS National Championship teams in 2011 and 2012. Alabama ranked fifth nationally in total defense (286.5 yards per game) in 2013 and seventh in rush defense (106.2 yards per game). Defensive end Ed Stinson earned All-SEC second-team accolades for the Tide. In 2012, Alabama featured the country's top-ranked scoring, total and rushing defense, allowing just 10.9 points per game, 250.0 yards per game and 76.4 yards rushing per game. The Crimson Tide's stifling defense saved its best performance for last as the Tide shut out top-ranked LSU in the national title game by a score of 21-0. Bama surrendered just five first downs and allowed LSU to cross the 50-yard line just once the entire game.

Alabama's 2011 defense was one of the most dominant in the history of college football. The Crimson Tide allowed just 8.2 points per game and gave up 183.6 total yards per contest, the fewest by an FBS team in records dating to 1996. UA also led the country in passing defense (111.5 avg.) and rushing defense (72.2 avg.). The 2011 team featured five players along the defensive line that would end up being drafted by NFL teams: NT Josh Chapman, DE Quinton Dial, DT Jesse Williams, DE Jeoffrey Pagan and DE Ed Stinson. Chapman earned All-SEC second-team honors that season. In total, Rumph coached five NFL Draft picks on the defensive line during his three-year stint with the Crimson Tide.

Rumph was hired as Clemson's defensive line coach in 2006, serving in the role until 2009 when he focused solely on the Tigers' defensive ends. The Tigers ranked among the top 25 nationally in scoring defense and total defense during each of Rumph's five seasons at Clemson. In 2010, Rumph coached unanimous All-American defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, who led the nation in sacks (15.5) and was tied for first in tackles-for-loss (26.0). He won both the Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defensive player, and the Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end, and was a second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay.

In Rumph's first year with the Tigers, he worked with defensive end Gaines Adams, who was the fourth overall selection in the 2007 draft by Tampa Bay after receiving unanimous All-America honors as a senior. Adams tallied 12.5 sacks to rank fourth in the nation. In his five-year career at Clemson, Rumph coached nine NFL draft picks and four All-ACC selections.

Rumph served as the outside linebackers coach at Memphis from 2003-05, helping lead the Tigers to three consecutive bowl games, including a pair of bowl victories in 2003 and 2005. Memphis won 24 games during his three seasons on staff.

Prior to serving the 2002 season as South Carolina State's defensive backs coach, Rumph was a successful head coach at Calhoun County High School in his hometown of St. Matthews, S.C., from 1997-2001. He got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at the University of South Carolina in the spring of 1997 prior to being named the head coach at CCHS.

A four-year letter winner at the University of South Carolina, Rumph starred as a linebacker for the Gamecocks under head coaches Sparky Woods and Brad Scott, totaling 141 career tackles and leading USC to its first bowl victory in the 1995 Carquest Bowl. He earned his bachelor's degree from South Carolina in 1994. He and his wife, Kila, are the proud parents of two sons, Christopher and Elijah.