Jon Fabris to Serve as Defensive Ends Coach
Jan. 20, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson announced today that Jon Fabris will join the Hoosiers staff as defensive ends coach. Fabris will also handle punt return and block. A veteran coach with 29 years of experience, Fabris has coached in 12 bowl games, including five BCS bowls.
"We are pleased to have Jon and his family on board," Wilson said. "He brings a wealth of experience and unparalleled passion and enthusiasm to our staff. He has made a career in the collegiate ranks as a relentless recruiter, a great teacher and coach of the defensive end position and an exceptional special teams coach. He is a great fit for our program."
Fabris has worked at Georgia Tech, Washington State, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Kansas State, South Carolina, the Cleveland Browns and most recently with Northwest Mississippi Community College in 2011 following an 18-month coaching hiatus after a nine-year stint at Georgia. In his 12 seasons coaching defensive ends at Georgia, South Carolina and Kansas State, 15 of his players earned spots on NFL regular season rosters.
"I wanted to be on a high level of competition and certainly Indiana being in the Big Ten is about as high as you can get," Fabris said. "Coach Wilson is a very competitive guy. He's had success at Miami (Ohio), Northwestern and a whole lot of national success at Oklahoma. That was attractive to me."
Fabris is also familiar with members of the Hoosiers defensive staff and looks forward to working with them in Bloomington.
"Doug Mallory, Mike Ekeler and Mark Hagen are all coaches I have coached against and are all good guys. That is something that was very important to me," Fabris said. "Bloomington is a great place to live and a great place for a family. My wife Marcy and I have two small boys and Indiana University is exactly what we were hoping to find."
Fabris coached Georgia's defensive ends from 2001-09. Sporting News recognized him as the best position coach in the Southeastern Conference in 2009 and Rivals.com honored him as one of the top 20 national recruiters in 2008.
During his tenure in Athens, the Bulldogs won 90 games, including two SEC Championships, three SEC Eastern Division titles and six bowl games. UGA also boasted six top 10 finishes in the final national polls, including No. 2 in 2007 and No. 3 in 2002.
Seven of the top 12 UGA players in career sacks were players he coached and three different times his defensive ends led the SEC in sacks (2002, 2004 and 2007).
He mentored one of the most decorated players in Bulldogs history, David Pollack. In 2004, Pollack was named a first team All-American for the third straight time, SEC Player of the Year for the second time and captured several of the nation's most prestigious defensive awards: the Rotary Lombardi Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Ted Hendricks Award (second straight year) and the Ronnie Lott Trophy.
Fabris also helped Charles Grant (2001), Pollack (2002-04), Quentin Moses (2005), Charles Johnson (2006) and Justin Houston (2009) earn All-SEC honors, while Marcus Howard was voted the most valuable player of the 2008 Sugar Bowl.
From 2001-08, Georgia was the only punt return team in the nation to finish in the top 15 six times, recording six of the top 10 punt return averages in school history. Under Fabris, the Bulldogs set single-season school records for punt return average (17.6), punt return yards (746), blocked punts (five) and tied a school record with three punt returns for a touchdown.
Prior to coaching with the Browns, Fabris coached the defensive ends for a 1999 South Carolina team that finished 20th nationally in total defense. Fabris spent the 1997-98 seasons at Kansas State, where he helped develop the Wildcats defensive and special teams units into some of the nation's best.
In 1998, KSU was third in the country in total defense and tied for sixth nationally in scoring defense. The Wildcats finished fourth in the nation in total defense, sixth in scoring defense and second in sacks the previous campaign.
Kansas State's 1998 punt return unit led the country (21.3), returning five punts for touchdowns and becoming the first school in NCAA history to return a punt for a touchdown in three straight games. Fabris also helped the Wildcats finish third in the nation in net punting (40.6) and 17th nationally in kickoff returns (23.1). In 1997, KSU's punt return unit finished 13th nationally (13.0).
Fabris handled all kick return and coverage units and assisted with the offensive line at Notre Dame in 1995 after he coached eight seasons at Iowa State (1987-94). He oversaw the linebackers, punt returns and kickoff coverage with the Cyclones.
His punt return units ranked among the top seven nationally from 1991-93 and finished first nationally over the three-year period averaging 15.8 yards per return. His kickoff coverage teams were ranked in the nation's top 10 from 1991-94 and during that time period Iowa State finished first nationally allowing just 14.9 yards a return.
Fabris assisted with the defensive backfield (1982) and tutored tight ends at Washington State (1983-86). The Cougars finished in the nation's top 10 in total offense in 1984 and 1985.
He began his coaching career as the junior varsity defensive backfield coach at Georgia Tech in 1980. Fabris started three seasons and earned four letters as a defensive back at the University of Mississippi (1976-1979) and received his bachelor of arts degree from Ole Miss in 1980.
Fabris and his wife, Marcy, have two sons, Jack (7) and Michael (5).
The Fabris File
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