BYU announces hiring of NFL coaching veteran Kevin M. Gilbride as tight ends coach

BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake announced Friday the hiring of Kevin M. Gilbride, a 20-year coaching veteran with more than a decade of NFL coaching experience, as the Cougars’ tight ends coach.

Welcome Coach Gilbride 1920Welcome Coach Gilbride 1920

PROVO, Utah — BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake today announced the hiring of Kevin M. Gilbride, a 20-year coaching veteran with more than a decade of NFL coaching experience, as the Cougars’ tight ends coach. 

“I am so excited to welcome Kevin, his wife Rachel, and their family to BYU,” Sitake said. “Kevin brings expertise and incredible experience to the tight end room. He has won as a tight ends coach at the highest level, comes with an extensive knowledge of the position and is highly regarded in the college coaching ranks and in the NFL. Kevin will be an excellent mentor for our young men in that position group and for our entire program.”

Gilbride, who attended BYU as a freshman quarterback in 1998 playing for LaVell Edwards before transferring to Hawaii, returns to Provo from the Charlotte 49ers of the American Athletic Conference following 12 years coaching in the NFL. 

“BYU is a special place where I started my college career and to come back full circle and coach here with my family is such an incredible opportunity.” Gilbride said. “I have a deep respect and appreciation for the university and what it stands for, its tradition and passionate fans, and all of the people associated with it. Those things make a difference, and I am excited to be a part of this program again.”

Gilbride worked in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and New York Giants, where he earned a Super Bowl ring. He served under NFL head coaches Tom Coughlin, Ben McAdoo, Matt Nagy and Matt Rhule. Prior to coaching in the NFL, Gilbride began his football coaching career at the collegiate level at Syracuse, Georgetown and Temple. 

“Kevin’s resume speaks for itself,” BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said. “He has been a tight ends coach for most of his career. He brings the expertise to elevate the established tradition of great tight end play at BYU and to develop our players for the NFL.”

Prior to Charlotte where he served as an offensive analyst last season, Gilbride worked two seasons with the Carolina Panthers from 2021-22, spending the first year as a defensive analyst before being promoted to the tight ends coach for the 2022 season. 

With Carolina, Gilbride helped the Panthers set franchise single-game records in 2022 in both total yards (570) and rushing yards (320). As a defensive assistant in 2021, Gilbride was responsible for preparing in-depth tendency studies of upcoming offenses, pass route diagramming and unique offensive coach insights for the defensive staff.

Gilbride was the tight ends coach for the Chicago Bears from 2018 to 2019. In his first season, the Bears won the NFC North for the first time since 2010. Gilbride’s top tight end, Trey Burton, finished with a career-high 54 receptions for 569 yards and six touchdowns, ranking tied for fourth among NFC tight ends. 

Before getting to Chicago, Gilbride spent eight seasons on the staff with the New York Giants, helping the team win Super Bowl XLVI. He worked as an offensive quality control assistant in 2010 and an offensive assistant in 2011, wide receivers coach for two years (2012-13) and spent four years as the tight ends coach from 2014-2017.

In 2017, Gilbride worked with first-round pick Evan Engram, guiding the rookie to 64 receptions for 722 receiving yards and six touchdowns en route to a Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team selection. Engram was No. 5 among all tight ends in receiving yards and led all NFL rookie tight ends in receptions and receiving yards. 

Gilbride also coached Larry Donnell to his best NFL season with 63 receptions, 623 yards and six touchdowns in 2014. That same year, Gilbride’s tight ends set a Giants’ franchise record with 11 combined receiving touchdowns. In 2015 and 2016, Giants tight end Will Tye combined for 90 receptions, 859 yards and four touchdowns over two seasons under Gilbride, including a 2015 season when Tye led all NFL rookie tight ends in receptions and yards. 

As the wide receivers coach in New York, Gilbride coached Victor Cruz for two seasons, including 2012 when Cruz was selected to the Pro Bowl after posting 86 receptions, 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. Cruz was 12th in the NFL in receptions that year and 15th overall in receiving yards and became just the second Giants wide receiver since 1968 to make the Pro Bowl. The following year, Cruz was just shy of another 1,000-yard season with 998 yards on 73 receptions while Rueben Randle had a team-high six touchdowns in 2013. 

Gilbride was an offensive assistant for the 2011 New York team that won Super Bowl XLVI, 21-17, over the New England Patriots. Quarterback Eli Manning set new career highs in nearly every statistical category in that offense, throwing for a franchise record 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns. Manning’s top target was Cruz, who caught 82 passes for a franchise record 1,536 yards, third in the NFL, and nine touchdowns. New York’s other offensive weapons included Hakeem Nicks (76 receptions, 1,192 yards, seven touchdowns), Mario Manningham (39 receptions and 523 yards in 12 games) and tight end Jake Ballard (38 receptions, 604 yards).

Before his first NFL season as a quality control assistant for the Giants in 2010, Gilbride was the wide receivers coach at Temple from 2007-09. In 2008, Gilbride coached wideout Bruce Francis, an All-MAC honoree, to 45 catches with 687 yards and a Temple Division I school-record 13 touchdowns. Francis finished his collegiate career with at least one reception in a school-record 38 consecutive games and with the most receiving touchdowns in school history at 23. 

Gilbride coached at Georgetown in 2006 where he worked with slot receivers and tight ends in addition to coaching the kickoff coverage units and other special teams duties. Prior to Georgetown, Gilbride was a graduate assistant for three seasons at Syracuse, including two years on the offensive side. Three players earned first-team All-Big East honors during Gilbride’s time on the Syracuse coaching staff. 

After attending BYU as a freshman, Gilbride played both football and baseball during his college years at the University of Hawaii before graduating in 2003 with a degree in communications. He and his wife Rachel have one daughter. His father, Kevin Gilbride, was an NFL coach for more than 20 years, including serving as a head coach and offensive coordinator.