position Co-Defensive Coordinator / Secondary Coach
Hometown Montvale, NJ
Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
The Ohio State University
Jeff Hafley, who has spent the past seven seasons in the NFL and most recently three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, was named Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach by head coach Ryan Day on Jan. 6, 2019.
Hafley, who worked with Day during the 2016 season in San Francisco, has been the 49ers defensive backs coach the past three years.
“His preparation is some of the best I’ve seen,” said 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who played for Hafley in 2018. “I’ve had some great defensive back coaches, some great defensive coaches and defensive minds. He is right up there with his preparation and how he breaks down film … how easy and simple he makes the game plan sound and how easy he makes it for guys to understand. He paints a very vivid picture of what you are going to see and [then] it’s all about execution.”
Prior to his position with San Francisco, Hafley was the secondary coach for two seasons in Cleveland, the secondary/safeties coach with Tampa Bay in 2013 and a defensive backs assistant with the Buccaneers in 2012.
“I really like the expertise and experience that Jeff has in the secondary,” Day said. “Jeff is a rising star and highly regarded as one of the best secondary coaches in the country. His NFL knowledge coaching the secondary is only going to enhance and improve what has become a marquee area for the Buckeyes.”
Hafley, who will coach his 19th season in 2019, is a native of Montvale, NJ. He played four seasons as a wide receiver at Siena College from 1997-2000, graduating cum laude in 2001 with a degree in history. He earned his master’s degree from Albany in 2003.
His coaching career includes 11 seasons in collegiate football before a move to the NFL in 2012, and then seven subsequent seasons there. After starting his career working as running backs coach for one season (2001) at Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic University, Hafley moved on to the University of Albany for four seasons as defensive assistant and defensive backs coach (2002-05).
He then coached at the University of Pittsburgh for five seasons (2006-10) where he worked under the direction of Dave Wannstedt and helped mentor Darrelle Revis into a Jim Thorpe Award finalist in 2006. Hafley was a defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach in 2006-07 and was secondary coach from 2008-10.
One season at Rutgers, working under Greg Schiano, followed his positions at Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights ranked ninth nationally in passing defense in his one season there, 2011.
Hafley moved on to the NFL following his year at Rutgers and coached two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, serving as an assistant defensive backs coach in 2012 and secondary/safeties coach in 2013.
Two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, under coach Mike Pettine, followed. In 2014, his second season with the Browns, the team led the NFL in opponent passer rating (74.1), opponent completion percentage (57.1) and in passes defensed with 99, plus ranked second in the league with 21 interceptions.
Three seasons as defensive backs coach with the San Francisco 49ers – 2016, 2017 and 2018 – precede Hafley’s position with the Buckeyes. He worked under Chip Kelly in 2016 and under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons. This year the 49ers ranked 11th in the league in passing defense. They were 14th in 2016 after ranking 27th in 2015, the year before Hafley arrived.
Hafley and his wife, Gina, have two daughters, Hope and Leah.
Jeff Hafley Quick Facts
Birthday: April 4, 1979
Hometown: Montvale, N.J.
Alma Mater: Siena, 2001
Master’s Degree: Albany, 2003
Year in Coaching: 19th (First at Ohio State)
Family: Wife Gina; daughters Hope and Leah
Jeff Hafley Coaching Assignments
|2019||Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary||Ohio State|
|2016-18||Defensive Backs||San Francisco 49ers|
|2014-15||Defensive Backs||Cleveland Browns|
|2013||Secondary/Safeties||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|2012||Defensive Backs Assistant||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|2001||Running Backs||Worcester Polytech|