Is Doll the final piece of the puzzle?

It's been the last vacancy on Mike Sherman's staff for a few weeks now, but has the tight ends/special teams coaching vacancy been filled? Is Kirk Doll the last piece of the puzzle for Sherman? Will the staff be in place for this weekend's second junior day? Aggie Websider has the latest on the situation.

According to sources close to the situtation, Kirk Doll will be named tight ends/special teams coach for the Aggies in the very near future, finally putting the finishing touches on a staff that is blended with NFL and coaching experience.

If the hire is made official by Friday, it also ensures that Sherman's staff will be complete before this weekend's junior day events.

Doll spent three years on the Denver Broncos' coaching staff from 2004 to 2006, two of which as the team's linebackers coach. Doll, who entered the NFL's coaching ranks in 2004 with Denver as its defensive assistant/special teams coach, also worked for 27 years as a college assistant and has 31 combined years of coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels.

In two seasons working with the Broncos' defense, Doll helped Denver become one of the strongest teams in the NFL against the run. The Broncos posted a top-4 NFL ranking against the run in each of Doll's first two years with the club.

Doll's linebacker corps in 2005 was regarded as one of the most athletic in the NFL and was instrumental in the Broncos going 13-3 and capturing the AFC West title en route to advancing to the AFC Championship Game.

Linebacker Al Wilson was named first-team All-Pro (Associated Press) for the first time in his career under Doll in 2005 and earned his fourth career Pro Bowl appearance.

In 2004, Doll began his NFL coaching career by working closely with Denver's linebackers and secondary on a defense that finished the year ranked fourth overall in the NFL (278.7 ypg.).

As a defensive assistant/special teams coach, he worked with Williams and helped the linebacker become only the second Broncos rookie, the first in 32 years, to lead the team in tackles (114). Doll took on additional responsibilities with the Broncos in early November 2004 as assistant defensive backs coach.

Doll joined the Broncos' coaching staff after a highly successful two-year stint (2002-03) as the assistant head coach/linebackers coach at LSU. He helped guide the Tigers to a share of the national title in 2003 when his linebackers played a key role in the SEC-champion Tigers' stout run defense. LSU allowed only 2.3 yards per rushing attempt in 2003, the school's best such mark since the 1970 season.

In his first year with the Tigers in 2002, Doll coached linebacker Bradie James to first-team All-America honors. The senior set a school record with 154 tackles in 2002 and was selected by Dallas in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Doll also assisted in the coaching of an LSU defense that ranked eighth in the country in yards surrendered (286 ypg.). Doll joined the LSU staff in the spring of 2002 after coaching linebackers at Notre Dame for eight years (1994-01), during which time he also coached its special teams (1994-97) and kickers (2000).

In addition, he held responsibilities as Notre Dame's assistant head coach from 1997-2001. Doll helped lead Notre Dame to five bowl games, including two appearances in the Fiesta Bowl and one in the Orange Bowl, as well as four top-20 finishes in the Associated Press' final season poll.

Doll instructed seven Notre Dame linebackers who were selected in the NFL Draft, including Bert Berry (3rd round, 1997) and Rocky Boiman (4th Round, 2002). He was instrumental in the development of Anthony Denman, who was a second-team All-American (Associated Press) as a senior in 2000 and was taken in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft by Jacksonville.

Doll helped punter Hunter Smith finish his career ranked second in Notre Dame annals in career punting average (41.2 yds.). Smith was selected by the Colts in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft and has developed into one of the league's top punters. He also worked with punter Joey Hildbold, who was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award (nation's top punter) in 2000.

In 1995, Doll helped Notre Dame reach the Orange Bowl as the Fighting Irish's defense allowed just 270 yards per game, the lowest figure at the school since the 1980 season. His linebackers played a role in the 1996 squad ranking eighth in the nation in pass defense (150.5 ypg.).

Before his stint at Notre Dame, Doll coached at Texas A&M for six years (1988-93) as its linebackers coach, playing a part in the Aggies advancing to five bowl games, including three appearances in the Cotton Bowl.

Doll helped Texas A&M lead the nation in total defense in 1991 (222.4 yards per game) and rank third nationally in scoring defense in 1993 by allowing only 10.8 points per contest. In his final three years at Texas A&M, the Aggies posted a 32-5 overall mark, including a 12-1 record in 1992. Among the standout linebackers he coached at Texas A&M were Quentin Coryatt, Marcus Buckley and William Thomas.

Doll, 55, also spent three years at Arizona State University (1985-87), five years at the University of Tulsa (1980-84), one year at Iowa State University (1979) and two years at Wichita State University (1975-76).

His collegiate coaching career has featured 14 bowl games, including appearances in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl.




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