In the spring, PonyStampede.com writer Troy Testa sat in the Ford Field press box with a NFL scout that claimed he had coached with June Jones in Atlanta. Testa, knowing that SMU was in need of a linebackers coach, told Buffalo Bills' scout Joe Haering that he should apply for the job. Haering felt the timing of the job was not right. Something must have changed in just a few short months. It it now almost the end of July and Haering was recently named a new addition to the June Jones' staff.
"At the end of my career as a scout, I have always said that I wanted to end it all with coaching. There were only two guys in the country that I wanted to coach with. They were guys that I had coached with before. One was Miles Davis and the other was June Jones," Haering told PonyStampede.com. "I wouldn't have gotten back into it without feeling the up most respect for who I was coaching under. I'm glad that I got the opportunity here."
Haering worked in the Bills organization for twelve seasons before coming to the Hilltop. Prior to joining the Bills' scouting staff, Haering was an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons from 1994 to 1996. He oversaw the Falcons' linebackers and also served as defensive coordinator in 1995, when they earned a spot in the playoffs. His NFL coaching career began in 1978-79 with the New York Jets, where he served as the linebackers/special teams coach.
"Joe has a wealth of experience at both the pro and college levels," said June Jones in a SMU press release. "He was our defensive coordinator when we made the USFL playoffs with the Denver Gold in 1985 and again when we made it to the NFL post-season with the Atlanta Falcons in 1995. He also possesses that same positive attitude that we've instilled in our players. He will be a huge asset."
Prior to his pro coaching career, he spent 10 years at the college level, starting out as the linebackers' coach at Bucknell, his alma mater. Over the next 10 years he had stints at Kentucky, Boston University and Kent State.
"I have coached everything twice by now. The experience that I have had with these players is not much since were not able to coach them yet, but I just know that from the other coaches on the staff that there are guys that want to work and want to win," said Haering. "I'm here to make them better and the best they can be. We definitely have some goals ahead of us. One is to win more than one game and the other is to make the players as good as possible as they can be."
Haering was an all-conference linebacker for Bucknell, and was a quarterback in high school. After graduating from Bucknell, he received a commission in the United States Army and served as a first lieutenant and company commander in Vietnam.
***Parts of this story contain pieces from the SMU press release regarding Joe Haering.