Allen Park, Mich.-Detroit Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli announced today that Sam Gash will be the team's new running backs coach. Terms of his contract were not disclosed.
Gash spent the 2007 season as Detroit's assistant special teams coach and will now replace Wilbert Montgomery who coached the Lions' running backs the past two seasons (2006-07). Gash played fullback for three seasons (2000-02) at Baltimore while Offensive Coordinator Jim Colletto coached the offensive line for the Ravens.
Before joining the Lions, Gash spent two seasons (2005-06) as the New York Jets' assistant running backs and assistant special teams coach. He entered the NFL coaching ranks following a 12-year playing career with the New England Patriots (1992-97), Buffalo Bills (1998-99, 2003) and Baltimore Ravens (2000-02).
As a player, Gash earned a reputation as one of the most physical fullbacks in the league and was named to two Pro Bowls (1999-2000). In 1999, he became the first back ever selected to the Pro Bowl without recording a rushing attempt.
Gash was an eighth-round draft choice (205th overall) of the New England Patriots in the 1992 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He started 78 of 177 regular season games and also appeared in 11 postseason games (seven starts). Gash carried the ball 121 times for 327 yards for a 2.7 average with two touchdowns and added 169 receptions for 1,347 yards for an 8.0 average and 13 scores. He was also active on various protection and coverage units throughout his career.
At Penn State, Gash was the top fullback as a junior and senior. He served as offensive captain as a senior and had a career-high 391 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 87 carries. As a junior, Gash started every game and posted 315 yards and five scores on 95 carries. He earned his undergraduate degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in speech communication, marketing and management. He and his wife, Alicia, have a daughter, Samantha, and sons Kolby, Elijah and Isaiah.