Chris Tabor was named the Browns' new special teams coordinator, the team announced today. Tabor spent the past three seasons as an assistant special teams coach for the Chicago Bears.
The Browns needed to replace special teams coordinator Brad Seely, 54. After coaching the Browns for the past two seasons, Seely recently left the organization to join the San Francisco 49ers' coaching staff.
Tabor, 39, was reportedly the favorite to become the Carolina Panthers' new special teams coach, but the Bears' run to the NFC Championship Game might have caused the Panthers to look elsewhere instead of waiting for Tabor to become available. The Panthers hired Brian Murphy earlier this week.
"I believe that Chris is one of the up and coming special teams coaches in this league," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said in a statement. "He is smart, enthusiastic and has a true passion for this area of the game. In Chris’ three years with the Bears, they consistently boasted one of the best special teams groups in the league, in just about every facet. Having faced them in 2008 and 2009, I know what a challenge it was to go up against their unit. He will be a valuable addition to our coaching staff."
During his tenure with the Bears, Tabor worked under special teams coordinator Dave Toub. The two coaches guided the Bears a top-five ranking in kickoff return average in each of the past three seasons. In 2010, the Bears ranked first in the NFL in punt return average (17.1 yards), second in kickoff return average (25.4 yards), second in average drive start after kickoffs (31.5) and ninth in punt return defense (7.8).
Tabor, a native of St. Joseph, Mo., coached at four colleges before beginning his NFL career in 2008. His resume includes stops at Western Michigan University, Utah State University, Culver-Stockton College and the University of Missouri.