John Bonamego

Football Coaches Clinic Adds Detroit Lions Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego

March 4, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Detroit Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego joins Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley and longtime NFL assistant coaches Dante Scarnecchia and Dan Radakovich as guest speakers for the 2014 University of Notre Dame Football Coaches Clinic. Irish head coach Brian Kelly and his entire staff will also give presentations at the clinic, which is scheduled for March 20-22.

Coaches and participants interested in receiving an advanced football course taught by the Irish coaching staff, featuring guest speakers and some of the top high school coaches in the country, are welcome to attend.

Chalk-talk sessions will provide attendees with an excellent opportunity to become familiar with various coaching techniques and a chance to know the coaches and other participants.

In addition to the various presentations, participants will get an exclusive look at the 2014 Fighting Irish football team as the squad practices twice during the clinic. Coaches’ socials both Thursday and Friday evenings, a hosted dinner on Friday and a tour of the Notre Dame Stadium locker room are all included. Vendors and exhibitors from around the country will also showcase football-related products.

Registration is now available online at The clinic is $65 per individual coach or $50 per coach for groups of at least six coaches who pre-register. Walk-up registration is $80.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Notre Dame associate athletics director (football operations) Chad Klunder at 574-631-8643 or

John Bonamego

  • A coaching veteran of 26 years, Bonamego joined the Lions coaching staff in 2013. The `13 season marked his 16th year in the NFL, each devoted to coaching special teams. This past season, the Lions didn’t allow a touchdown return on kickoffs or punts after allowing four of them in 2012 and Jeremy Ross provided a spark to their own return game with a pair of touchdowns.
  • As the Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coordinator in 2012, Bonamego oversaw the development of rookie punter Bryan Anger. Anger set franchise records for punting average (47.8) and net punting average (40.8), with both totals leading all rookie punters.
  • During the 2011 season, Bonamego was the assistant special teams coach for the New Orleans Saints (his second stint with the franchise). Bonamego was the team’s special teams coordinator from 2006-07. In 2006, his units played a critical role as the Saints claimed the NFC South title and appeared in the NFC Championship game. Arguably New Orleans’ biggest play that season occurred on special teams when safety Steve Gleason blocked a punt vs. Atlanta that was recovered for a touchdown in the first quarter in the season opener, which was the first post-Katrina game in the Superdome.
  • Bonamego served as the special teams coordinator for the Miami Dolphins from 2008-10. He developed young specialists including kicker Dan Carpenter, punter Brandon Fields and kick returner Ted Ginn, Jr.
  • Bonamego guided Carpenter’s development after he signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie in 2008. During his first two seasons, he made 46-of-53 field goal attempts (86.8 pct.). As a rookie, he established a new Dolphins rookie record with 11-straight made field goals. He was selected to the 2009 Pro Bowl after making 25-of-28 attempts.
  • In 2009, Bonamego’s special teams units featured Fields setting a franchise record for net punting average (39.9) and Ginn, Jr. becoming the first player in NFL history to record two kickoff return touchdowns of 100 yards or more in the same game (at NYJ, November 1, 2009). Ginn, Jr. also was the first NFL player in 42 years to have two returns for touchdowns in the same quarter while also recording 299 return yards, the second-most single-game kickoff return yardage total in NFL history.
  • Bonamego’s experience in the NFC North also includes a three-year stint as the special teams coordinator for Green Bay from 2003-05. In 2005, the Packers registered the league’s longest punt return for a touchdown (85 yards vs. Chi), didn’t allow a return touchdown, blocked two PATs and blocked one field goal attempt. In 2004, Green Bay finished as one of only four teams in the NFL that did not surrender a return touchdown or have a kick blocked. The Packers allowed only 20.2 yards on kickoff returns and ranked sixth in field goal percentage (85.7). The club had four game-winning field goals in 2004, the most by the team since the 1970 merger.
  • Bonamego’s first stint in the NFL was from 1999-2002 with the Jaguars. For the first three seasons, Bonamego worked as the assistant special teams coach under legendary NFL special teams coach Frank Gansz and was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2002.
  • Before entering the NFL, Bonamego worked 11 years on the college level including four years at Maine (1988-91), one season at Lehigh and six years at Army (1993-98).

— ND —