ATLANTA — Former Buford High School coach Jess Simpson was named defensive line coach with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, taking the place of Bryant Young, who will be stepping down for personal reasons (family time).
Under the direction of Young, a college star at Notre Dame and 14-year NFL stalwart with the 49ers (1994-2007), the defensive line accounted for 25.5 of the Falcons' 37 sacks last year, while also forcing five fumbles.
"We fully support and respect Coach Young in this transition as it's the right decision for him and his family," said Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.
"At the same time, we are excited to bring Jess back to the staff. His existing knowledge of our scheme and familiarity with our players will help add to the strength of our defense in 2019."
Simpson, who had spent last season with the University of Miami (under former UGA head coach Mark Richt), had been with Quinn and the Falcons in 2017, helping Atlanta rank ninth overall in rushing defense and total defense.
As Buford's head coach from 2004-15, Simpson led the Wolves to seven state championships (10 straight title games) and a staggering overall record of 164-12.