Charlie Bullen Named University of Illinois Athletics OLB Pass Rush Coach/Coordinator (2023)

CHAMPAGNER, Ill. –Charlie Bullen has been named Outside Linebackers Coach/Rush Coordinator for the Illinois Football Program, Head CoachBret BielemaAnnounced. Bullen comes to the Fighting Illinois with 11 years of NFL coaching experience, including the last four years with the Arizona Cardinals.

Bullen has spent the last three seasons as the Cardinals' outside linebacker coach, having originally joined the Cardinals' staff as an assistant linebacker coach for the 2019 season on linebackers and defensive line.

"I couldn't be more excited to welcome Charlie Bullen and his family to Illinois. Charlie has a wealth of coaching experience in the NFL, including coaching some of the NFL's elite pass rushers, as well as experience in the Big Ten. I'm looking forward to seeing Charlie continue to develop our full-backs and continue to develop the pass rush as he bolsters our defense in 2023."

"I'm excited to be part of the #family in my home state of Illinois," said Bullen. “I am grateful to Coach Bielema and Coach Henry for the opportunity to help in the continued growth of this great program. Ready to get to work!”

With help from Bullen's group of outside linebackers, the Cardinals finished fifth in the NFL with 89 total sacks in the 2020-21 two-year period. Of those, 50 came from the outside linebacker position. During that time span, three Cardinals outside linebackers had more than 10 sacks: Markus Golden, Chandler Jones, and Haason Reddick.

In 2021, Bulls coached Chandler Jones to the Pro Bowl after becoming the franchise's all-time sack leader (67.0) and finishing the season with 10.5 sacks, a year after being limited to five games by injury . He tied the franchise single-game record (Haason Reddick) with 5.0 sacks in a win over the Titans. Jones (10.5) and Markus Golden (11.0 sacks) each had double-digit sacks in 2021, marking only the fourth time in franchise history that the Cardinals had multiple players with 10-plus sacks in a single season. Arizona also finished the 2021 season in the top 10 in offensive points allowed (8th), fumbled recoveries (1st), and fast touchdowns allowed (3rd).

In 2020, under Bullen's stewardship, Haason Reddick had a career-high and team lead with 12.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 16 QB hits and six forced fumbles. He was the only player in the NFL in 2020 to finish in the top 5 on sacks (4th), tackles for loss (3rd), and forced fumbles (2nd). Over a three-game span (Games 13-15) in 2020, Reddick set a team record with 7.5 sacks and six forced fumbles, becoming the first NFL player in the past 21 years to release those numbers. Arizona had an NFL record of 18 players with at least 1.0 sacks and an NFL lead record of 12 players with more than 2.0 sacks in 2020, and finished the season with 48.0 sacks, the fourth-most in the league.

Jones finished second in the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year pick, was named a First Team All-Pro, and was selected to the Pro Bowl after setting a franchise record with 19.0 sacks and eight forced fumbles, a career high . and seven sacks of strips. His 19.0 sacks ranked second in the NFL while he tied the league lead in forced fumbles and led the NFL in uncovered sacks.

Prior to joining the Cardinals, Bullen spent seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins, including his final three seasons in Miami (2016-18) as the Dolphins' assistant linebackers coach. He originally joined the Dolphins in 2012 as a defensive assistant before being promoted to assistant defensive line coach in 2013, where he coached for three seasons (2013-15). He worked with defense coordinator Vance Joseph, who became the Cardinals' defense coordinator while Bullen was with Arizona.

Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso has totaled more than 100 tackles in each of Bullen's three seasons (2016-18) as a linebacker. In 2018, Alonso led the team and ranked 10th in the NFL with a career-high 125 tackles, the most by a Dolphins LB since Karlos Dansby in 2012. He was the only NFL player with minus 100 tackles, three Interceptions and three forced fumbles in 2018. Alonso had 115 tackles in both 2016 and 2017, finishing ninth and eighth in the AFC respectively in those two seasons.

In Bull's first season as assistant linebacker coach in 2016, Miami won nine of his last 11 games to secure his first playoff spot since 2008. The Dolphins' defense held out opponents with a third conversion rate of 36.2% in 2016 fourth-ranked in the NFL and forced 21 turnovers in his last 11 games, the fourth-most in the league for that span. Alonso was a major contributor to that run, scoring a go-ahead touchdown on an interception return with 1:01 left in Week 10 in San Diego. Alonso also became the first Dolphins linebacker with an interception and fumble recovery in a game since at least 1993.

Cameron Wake (27.0) and Olivier Vernon (25.5) were assistant defensemen for three seasons and tied for 10th and tied 12th respectively for most sacks in the NFL between 2013 and 2015. No other NFL team had multiple players in the top 20 sacks during that time. Wake was selected to the Pro Bowl in consecutive seasons (2013-14) while working with Bulls. In 2015, Wake had 7.0 sacks in seven games, including four in Week 6 in Tennessee during an injury-shortened season, and joined Julius Peppers as the only NFL player with at least seven sacks in each of six seasons. fifteen). ). Vernon (7.5), Wake (7.0) and Ndamukong Suh (6.0) were one of four trios of NFL teammates in 2015 with at least six sacks each.

The defensive line totaled 30.5 of Miami's 39 sacks in 2014, including a team-high 11.5 from Wake. The Dolphins defensive line had 34 of Miami's 42 sacks in 2013, including a team-high 11.5 from Vernon and 8.5 from Wake. It was the first time in franchise history that the Dolphins had at least 40 sacks in three straight seasons (2011-13).

During Bullen's first season in Miami, the Dolphins ranked seventh in the NFL and third in the AFC in goal defense (19.8 ppg) and their red-zone defense led the league as opponents managed touchdowns to just 42 .6 percent of his holdings in the red zone. Bullen worked primarily on the defensive line, which included professional bowlers Randy Starks and Wake, who led the team with a career-high 15 sacks, fourth most in the NFL that season and sixth most overall in a single season in team history.

Prior to his work with the Dolphins, Bullen coached for three seasons (2009-2011) as a graduate assistant working with defense attorneys at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. He also served as a student assistant for two seasons (2007-08) while working on his bachelor's degree, he worked with the Iowa quarterbacks. In 2006, he served as a volunteer assistant at Iowa City High School, where he worked with the team's quarterbacks.

Before attending Iowa, Bullen played quarterback at Harper, Illinois, and St. Norbert, Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Iowa in 2008 and a master's degree in sports management in 2011.

A native of Palatine, Illinois, Bullen is a graduate of Fremd High School. He was high school teammates with quarterback Scott Tolzien, who later played for the Illinois head coach.Bret Bielemanot Wisconsin.

Bullen and his wife Megan have three daughters, Elle, Berkley and Nellie.

coaching career

2023IllinoisOutside Linebackers Coach/Rush Pass Coordinator
2020-22Arizona CardinalsExternal linebacker coach
2019Arizona CardinalsLinebacker-Assistenztrainer
2013-15Miami-DelfineAssistent Defensive Line Coach
2012Miami-Delfinedefensive assistant
2009-11IowaDiploma Assistant (Defender)
2007-08IowaStudent Assistant (Quarterbacks)

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