On Sunday morning the Chicago Bears announced that they have hired Richard Hightower as their new special teams coordinator. Hightower has been coaching in the NFL since 2006, and he was previously on the Bears staff in 2016 as their assistant special teams coach.
After his one year in Chicago working under special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers (on John Fox’s staff), the 49ers hired Hightower to be their special teams coordinator. According to Rick Gosselin’s annual NFL Special Teams Rankings, Hightower’s units were ranked 25th in 2021, 27th in 2020, 19th in 2019, 21st in 2018, and 15th in 2017.
While his unit struggled most of the 2021 season, they starting to come together late in the season, and then in their playoff win against the Packers they made a big impact.
Most of Hightower’s coaching career has been spent working with the third phase, although he does have some time working with wide receivers and defensive backs.
As a player, he walked on to the University of Texas after enrolling with an academic scholarship, but after dazzling on special teams the Longhorns awarded him an athletic scholarship.
For more on Hightower’s story check out this profile here.