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Rick Christophel
Tight Ends
College:
Austin Peay
Hometown:
Reading, OH
Experience:
5

Biography

Veteran collegiate coach Rick Christophel (KRIS-tuh-fell) enters his fifth season with the Cardinals and fifth year in the NFL after he joined the team as tight ends coach on 2/5/13. Christophel came to the Cardinals after spending six years (2007-12) as head coach at his alma mater, Austin Peay State University.

Arizona finished the 2016 season with 418 points, the fourth-best total in team history, while having the #9 ranked offense in the NFL. It is the second straight season the Cardinals had a top-10 offense. RB David Johnson set franchise records and led the NFL with 2,118 scrimmage yards (1,239 rushing, 879 receiving) and 20 TDs while being selected to his first Pro Bowl and being named first-team All-Pro.

Veteran collegiate coach Rick Christophel (KRIS-tuh-fell) enters his fifth season with the Cardinals and fifth year in the NFL after he joined the team as tight ends coach on 2/5/13. Christophel came to the Cardinals after spending six years (2007-12) as head coach at his alma mater, Austin Peay State University.

Arizona finished the 2016 season with 418 points, the fourth-best total in team history, while having the #9 ranked offense in the NFL. It is the second straight season the Cardinals had a top-10 offense. RB David Johnson set franchise records and led the NFL with 2,118 scrimmage yards (1,239 rushing, 879 receiving) and 20 TDs while being selected to his first Pro Bowl and being named first-team All-Pro.

In 2015, the Cardinals had the top ranked offense in the NFL for the first time in team history and established single-season records for points (489), TDs (59), TD passes (35), total net yards (6,533), first downs (373) and first downs passing (237). The team’s tight ends combined for 43 receptions, 567 yards and six TDs in 2015.

While at Austin Peay, Christophel led the Governors to a 7-4 record in his first season at the helm (2007), becoming the first Austin Peay head coach since his mentor Watson Brown (1979) to win seven games in his initial season. The seven wins were the highest total by a Governors scholarship program since the 1984 team went 7-4 and their 5-3 Ohio Valley Conference record were their most league victories since 1980.

Prior to serving as head coach at Austin Peay, Christophel amassed more than 25 years of experience as a college assistant. He spent 12 years (1995-2006) at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where he served in a variety of roles. He began his tenure in 1995 as offensive coordinator/running backs coach before coaching the team’s wide receivers (1996-98) where he tutored junior WR Darrius Malone, who set the school’s single-season record with an average of 22.1 yards per catch. In 1997, he coached QB Kevin Drake, who became the first offensive player in UAB history to go to the NFL when he signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals.

In 1999, Christophel worked with the Blazers offensive tackles and tight ends before serving as wide receivers coach in 2000, also taking on the title of director of football operations that year. In 2001, Christophel began the first of two stints as defensive coordinator at UAB, helping the Blazers defense lead the country in rushing yards allowed (57.3 ypg), ranking fifth nationally in total defense (265.9 ypg) and finishing 16th in scoring defense (18.7 points per game). From 2002-03, he served as senior associate athletics director at the school. He returned to the sideline in 2004 working with both the offensive and defensive line before becoming the assistant head coach/defensive line in 2005 and serving as the defensive coordinator for the second time at the school in 2006.

Prior to working at UAB, Christophel coached wide receivers at Mississippi State for four seasons (1991-94). From 1993-94, he worked alongside Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who was the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs at the time. During Christophel's tenure at Mississippi State, he coached three future NFL receivers – Eric Moulds, Olanda Truitt and Willie Harris. The Bulldogs played in three bowl games during that span (Liberty Bowl-1991 and Peach Bowl-1993 and 1995).

He coached at Vanderbilt for five seasons (1986-90), holding various titles including offensive backs coach (1986-88), defensive coordinator and middle linebackers coach (1989) and assistant head coach and offensive backs coach (1990).

Before working at Vanderbilt, Christophel coached quarterbacks and running backs at Rice (1984-85) and was the quarterbacks/tight ends coach at Cincinnati (1983). Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator at Southern Arkansas State University in 1982 and coached running backs at Austin Peay for three seasons (1979-81). He got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Austin Peay (1975) and was an assistant coach at Highlands High School (Fort Thomas, KY) from 1976-78.

Christophel was a four-year starter on the Governors football team (1971-74). A two-time captain, he played safety in his first season before switching to play quarterback for his final three years. His brothers, Rob and Randy, also played quarterback at Austin Peay. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business in 1975 and a master’s in Education from Austin Peay. A native of Reading, OH, Christophel and his wife, Connie, have three daughters, Chrissy, Carrie and Sara, and seven grandchildren.

Rick Christophel Coaching Breakdown

Year              School/Team                                 Position

1975              Austin Peay                                    Graduate Assistant

1976–78        Highlands H.S.                               Assistant Coach

1979–81        Austin Peay                                    Running Backs

1982              Southern Arkansas State                 Offensive Coordinator

1983              University of Cincinnati                   Quarterbacks/Tight Ends

1984–85        Rice                                               Quarterbacks/Running Backs

1986–90        Vanderbilt                                       Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Backs                                                                                     Defensive Coordinator/Middle Linebackers

1991–94        Mississippi State                            Wide Receivers

1995–2001     UAB                                               Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs/

                                                                           Defensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers/

                                                                           Tight Ends/Offensive Tackles

2004–06        UAB                                               Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach/

                                                                           Defensive Line/Offensive Line

2007–12        Austin Peay                                    Head Coach

2013            ARIZONA CARDINALS                  Tight Ends

Photos

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    Rams RB Todd Gurley finds some running room
  • club
    S Tyrann Mathieu
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    Rams RB Todd Gurley celebrates a touchdown
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    Cardinals RB Adrian Peterson (left) exchanges jerseys with Rams RB Todd Gurley (right) after the game
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    Rams S Lamarcus Joyner runs back an interception

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