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Bob D. Sutton (born January 28, 1951) is an American football coach currently serving as a Senior Assistant of the Atlanta Falcons. Sutton previously was the defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). Sutton served as the head football coach at the United States Military Academy from 1991 to 1999, compiling a record of 44–55–1.

Bob Sutton
Atlanta Falcons
Position:Senior assistant
Personal information
Born: (1951-01-28) January 28, 1951 (age 68)
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Career information
College:Eastern Michigan
Career history
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:NCAA: 44–54–1 (.449)
Postseason:Bowl games: 0–1 (.000)
Career:NCAA: 44–55–1 (.445)
Coaching stats at PFR


Coaching careerEdit

Sutton's first job in the coaching ranks came as a graduate assistant under Bo Schembechler at Michigan in 1972 and 1973.[1] In 1974, he moved on to Syracuse University where he served as linebackers coach for the Orange. After just one year he began the first of two stints at Western Michigan University then onto the University of Illinois, where he was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1977 to 1979.[1] He returned to Western Michigan as offensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981. In 1982, he spent one season as running backs coach at North Carolina State University before beginning a long association with the United States Military Academy in 1983.[1]


Sutton spent eight years as an assistant coach at Army before being named the head coach in 1991. His nine-year tenure as the head football coach at Army (1991 to 1999) is second in length only to Earl "Red" Blaik.[1] Sutton compiled a record of 44–55–1 and guided the 1996 Army squad to a 10–2 record, an appearance in the Independence Bowl, and a top 25 finish in both major polls. For his efforts that season, Sutton was awarded the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.

New York JetsEdit

Sutton made the transition to the NFL coaching ranks with the New York Jets in 2000, beginning his tenure with the Jets as a linebackers coach before serving as the team's defensive coordinator from 2006 to 2008, senior assistant/linebackers coach from 2009 to 2011, and as assistant head coach/linebackers in 2012.[1]

Kansas City ChiefsEdit

In January 2013 Sutton was named defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs under new head coach Andy Reid.[1] Unlike other NFL defensive coordinators, Sutton was distinguished by his "cordial and cerebral demeanor" which was the "calming and refreshing opposite of the drill sergeant caricature".[2] The Chiefs finished in the top seven in scoring defense in each of Sutton’s first four seasons, ranking second in 2014.[3]

Despite the gradual year-over-year improvement in the Chiefs' win-loss record, Sutton drew growing criticism as the defense cost them playoff games, starting when the team blew the 38-10 lead to lose 44-45 to the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, and then suffered eliminations at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, and New England Patriots in the 2016-2018 postseason; in these latter three losses the Chiefs had home advantage and surrendered a considerable amount of rushing yards.[4] The 2018 season was generally a success for the Chiefs, largely due to an offense led by young quarterback Patrick Mahomes who led the league in points and yards per game. However, the defense ranked 31st in yards allowed (405.5), 24th in yards per play (5.85), and 24th in points per game (26.3), and giving up an average of 40.2 points in the five losses including those to the LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks, while the only bright spot was leading the league in sacks and quarterback hurries.[5] The Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger noted that "The offense was a rocket ship, especially early, which meant the defense was often playing with the lead in obvious passing situations. That played to the group’s strength, which was the pass rush, and away from its weaknesses — stopping the run and quick passes".[6] Sutton had reportedly lost the support of players and coaches who felt that his "lack of adjustments has been a non-stop frustration", so he was relieved of his duties two days after the loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.[7]

Atlanta FalconsEdit

In February 2019, The Atlanta Falcons named Bob Sutton a Senior Assistant.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Bob Sutton earned his physical education degree from Eastern Michigan University. He and his wife, Debbie, have a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren.[1]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Army Cadets / Black Knights (NCAA Division I-A independent) (1991–1997)
1991 Army 4–7
1992 Army 5–6
1993 Army 6–5
1994 Army 4–7
1995 Army 5–5–1
1996 Army 10–2 L Independence 24 25
1997 Army 4–7
Army Cadets / Black Knights (Conference USA) (1998–1999)
1998 Army 3–8 2–4 T–5th
1999 Army 3–8 1–5 T–7th
Army: 44–55–1 3–9
Total: 44–55–1

Coaching treeEdit

Assistant coaches under Bob Sutton who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:


  1. ^ a b c d e f g McCallister, Laura (January 11, 2013). "Andy Reid fills out coaching staff, including coordinators". KCTV-TV website. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
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  7. ^ Staff (January 22, 2019). "Chiefs fire DC Bob Sutton following loss to Patriots". ESPN. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
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External linksEdit