The NFL Alumni Academy coaching staff is comprised of a diverse group of coaches. The coaching staff focuses on the fundamentals of football to create the best environment for the players. The coaching staff is led by Mike Tice, the Director of Development and a 36 year NFL veteran coach and player. At the Academy players and coaches alike are able to spend 100% of their time focusing on individual technique, football fundamentals, performance training, and health & wellness.
The coaching leadership at the Academy are the best of the best and have all coached at the highest levels of the NFL. The Academy also provides opportunities for former players who wish to find coaching or personnel positions in the NFL. In addition to training the NFL’s future players we also train the future coaches. Our coaching leadership works with former players to teach coaching techniques, strategies and leadership.
Mike Tice returns to volunteer his time and expertise in developing both future NFL coaches and players at the NFL Alumni Academy. Tice enjoyed a 36 year career in the National Football League. Tice had a very successful 14 year playing career as a Tight End and a 22 year coaching career, including 4 years as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, taking the Vikings to the playoffs. As a coach, Tice's strength comes in developing offensive lineman. Tice coached numerous Pro Bowl players, including Hall of Fame guard Randall McDaniel, All-Pro and future Hall of Fame center Matt Birk, and All-Pro Guard Kelechi Osemele.
Chip Smith is recognized as the founding father of the sports performance training industry and has trained more NFL talent (over 300 current NFL players) than anyone else. As the founder of Chip Smith Performance Systems, Chip is a world renowned speed and strength expert, and his proprietary training system produces unparalleled results. Having trained more than 3,000 professional athletes across a dozen sports, Chip is truly a leader in his field and we are very fortunate to have Chip’s expertise at the Academy again.
Anthony Muñoz returns to the Academy to coach the Offensive Line. Muñoz is one of the most decorated offensive linemen in NFL history, with 11 straight All Pro seasons as the left tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals. He won multiple NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year awards, was selected for the NFL’s 75th and 100th Anniversary teams, and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998. Muñoz also has great hands, with touchdown receptions as a pass eligible tackle. After his time working with linemen at the Academy last year, Muñoz is excited to return to impart his mentorship and positional knowledge to this year’s class of offensive linemen.
Chuck Smith is a former All-Pro NFL Defensive End who played 8 years with the Atlanta Falcons and one year with the Carolina Panthers. Smith spent one year coaching at the University of Tennessee, and currently operates his own pass rush training program, with notable clients such as Von Miller and Aaron Donald praising Smith’s coaching for how they were able to elevate their games. Chuck returns to the Academy after a very successful season coaching up the pass rushers in 2020 and 2021.
Jay Hayes is a former NFL Defensive Line and Special Teams Coach who coached for 20 years. He began his NFL coaching career for the Pittsburgh Steelers, spent a year with the Minnesota Vikings, 13 years with the Cincinnati Bengals, and finished his career with the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers. Hayes spent the last year working with his brother, as the Defensive Coordinator of the XFL's St. Louis Battlehawks. He also enjoyed a 12 year career as a collegiate coach, with stops at Cal and Notre Dame. Coach Hayes is bringing his experience and dedication for teaching to the Academy once more.
Moe Williams is a former NFL running back who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens. After a successful collegiate career at the University of Kentucky, Williams was selected in the third round by the Vikings, and played 9 of his 10 seasons in Minnesota. Williams retired after the 2005 season with 1,826 career rushing yards and 21 touchdowns to his credit. Since his playing days, Williams has coached running backs at his alma mater, coached in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, and enjoyed a fellowship with the Raiders. Williams is eager to return to the Academy to continue his work with the young men at the Academy and help them achieve their goals.
Steve Smith has been coaching football at various levels since 2001, working with 5 NFL teams, and also coached in NFL Europe. Most recently, Coach Smith was the Offensive Coordinator for the USFL's New Jersey Generals. In 2020 and 2021, he served as an offensive line coach at the Academy, who used his unique story to connect with players that were fighting for their careers. Prior to that, he served as offensive line coach for the Seattle Dragons of the XFL. He previously served as the head football coach at Lincoln University as well as a variety of coaching roles at different levels of football, including a stint as the assistant offensive line coach for the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs and offensive coordinator for the Albany State Golden Rams.
Tripp Smith returns to the Academy as Performance Coach. Smith has been training athletes around the world for the past 16 years. He has an M.S. in Exercise Science and has trained athletes from every major professional sport as well as numerous Olympians, including 28 medalists in the 2012 London Olympics. When he’s not at the Academy, Tripp owns and operates Hammersmith Sports, a sports performance training center outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
Ted Cottrell is an experienced defensive coach, with 8 years of NCAA experience, 28 years of NFL experience, and 6 years of experience in other leagues. During his long and successful career, Coach Cottrell has coached linebackers, linemen, and served as a defensive coordinator and head coach. In 1999, he was the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills as they had the second best defense in the NFL that season. He has also coached the Chiefs, the Cardinals, the Jets, the Vikings, and the Chargers, working as the Defensive Coordinator for the last Jets, Vikings, and Chargers. Coach Cottrell brings his experience and expertise in defensive development to the Academy's players that are hungry to improve.
The Academy is thrilled to welcome Antonio Banks as its first ever defensive backs coach. After a graduating from Virginia Tech as a four year letterman, Banks had a 5 year NFL career as a cornerback. During his career, he played for both the Vikings and the Raiders. He also played in NFL Europe and the CFL. After he retired from playing he began coaching and has coached at the University of Tennessee and the prestigious IMG Academy. Coach Banks is bringing his knowledge, intensity and passion for football to instill proper technique for Academy players under his tutelage.
Brian Picucci is a long time coach with 31 years of college coaching experience before he joined the Detroit Lions staff for 2 years under Matt Patricia. Picucci also played fullback at Syracuse for from 1989-93. As a coach, Picucci was a part of staff of the Massachusetts Minutemen's when they won the Division I-AA national championship in 1998 and when finished as the national runner up in 2006. Coach Picucci will be the Academy's first tight ends coach, and will bring his grit and grind to instill the work ethic needed for players to succeed at the highest levels.