Aggies Coach Top CFB Coaches in NFL Experience
There are those that say the greatest source of knowledge is experience. If this is the case, then no coach in college football today is wiser than one of New Mexico State University’s current football coaches.
Aggies defensive coordinator Dale Lindsey’s 29 years of NFL experience, both as a player and coach, are unsurpassed by any college football coach, according to a poll conducted by university athletic media relations directors from around the country.
“I feel very fortunate to have the time I did in the pros,” Lindsey said. “There are only 32 jobs in the world like that, and you’re lucky to have one of them. You’re one of the most privileged people in the world.”
Lindsey began his career in the NFL as a linebacker with the Cleveland Browns. He played nine seasons with the Browns (1965-73) before moving on to coaching.
Lindsey’s NFL coaching career spans an incredible 20 years and seven teams including time with the Packers, Chargers, Bears and Redskins. All of his time coaching in the NFL was spent as a linebackers coach with the exception of a couple of years spent as defensive coordinator with the San Diego Chargers under head coach Marty Schottenheimer (2002-03).
Along the way Lindsey was fortunate enough to work with some great linebackers, including 12-time NFL Pro Bowler Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers and current perennial All-Pro Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears.
“They are rare athletes,” said Lindsey of Seau and Urlacher. “Maybe you get one in a career, I had two. They will do anything you ask of them, they will outwork anybody on the field and they’re good people on top of it.”
Lindsey, along with Seau and the rest of the 1994 San Diego Chargers, got a chance to experience being in one of the world’s greatest spectacles, the Super Bowl. Lindsey compared the experience to becoming president of the United States for a week.
“They treat you like royalty, it’s unbelievable,” Lindsey said. “It is the focal point of the world at that time, and you’re part of it.”
Although Lindsey has fond memories of his days in the NFL, he now concentrates on his work as part of the NM State coaching staff.
The difference between the NFL and college, according to Lindsey, is that in the pros you get players who have already worked with someone else for a few years, sometimes more. In college, however, you get a chance to work with the players and mold them and develop them to your standards. Coach Lindsey uses his experience to teach his college players the same techniques he used in the NFL.
Lindsey, who is in his third year at NM State, said he sees great potential among some of his current Aggie players.
“I see a few guys here right now that I think have a chance of making it (to the NFL),” he said. “We have a couple of guys the NFL has their eyes on and a couple of underclassmen that they will have their eyes on in the future.”
If there is someone who would know about making it in the NFL it would be Coach Lindsey. There aren’t many people who have spent almost three decades playing and coaching in the league.
The NFL, however, is only a slice of Coach Lindsey’s long football journey.
Before coming to NM State, Lindsey also coached at Southern Methodist University (1988-89) and the University of San Diego (2007). He has also coached in the United States Football League, the World Football League and the Canadian Football League.
Lindsey played his high school football at Bowling Green (Ky.) High School where he was an All-State player. He then helped Western Kentucky University to an undefeated season and a Tangerine Bowl championship in 1963 and was named an All-American linebacker in 1964. Not only is Coach Lindsey a member of both his alma mater’s athletic halls of fame, he is also a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and the Kentucky NFL Hall of Fame.
Although a lot of his career was with the NFL, Lindsey said he has enjoyed every moment of his football career equally.
“I can’t pick one moment over another,” Lindsey said. “I had a fabulous time in high school, played in a bowl game in college, coached in two world championship games, two NFC championship games and nine NFL playoff games. It’s all been good.”
Lindsey hopes to continue working with the Aggies football team while enjoying his life-long passion for the game of football.
“I started playing when I was 12 years old,” Lindsey said. “I’ve never done anything but play football and coach football. I’m the luckiest guy on Earth.”