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John Zernhelt
Tight Ends

Biography

John Zernhelt is in his seventh season with the Titans and eighth NFL season. A 36-year veteran of coaching, Zernhelt joined the Titans after one season as tight ends coach with the New York Jets.

Last year, Jared Cook posted the second-best season by a tight end in franchise history. His 759 yards ranked second only to Frank Wycheck’s 1998 season (768 yards). Craig Stevens also established himself as a solid all-around tight end, who signed a long-term deal with the team during the offseason.

Under his Zernhelt’s guidance, Bo Scaife posted 251 receptions over his six years with the Titans (2005-10). Scaife led the team with 58 grabs in 2008. His six-year reception total with Tennessee ranked 10th among NFL tight ends over that period and ranked second in franchise history for career receptions by a tight end.

As an extension of the offensive line, the tight ends are a key part of the Titans run-game. They helped the team rank in the top 10 in rushing in four of the last six seasons with 2,000 team rushing yards in each of those four campaigns. In 2009, their efforts helped Chris Johnson reach the historic 2,000-yard rushing landmark, becoming just the sixth individual in NFL history to do so.

Prior to joining the NFL, Zernhelt spent 28 seasons in the college ranks, including one year as head coach at the Citadel in 2004. He served as offensive coordinator in 2003 at the Citadel, before rising to head coach.

Zernhelt spent four seasons as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach (1999-2002) at James Madison. Before joining James Madison, he made stops as an offensive line coach at South Carolina (1996-98), Duke (1994-95), Rice (1992-93), Maryland (1987-91), East Carolina (1982-86), Marshall (1981) and Ferrum College (1977-80). At both Rice and Duke, Zernhelt worked with former Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.

A graduate of Maryland, Zernhelt enjoyed a stellar playing career for the Terrapins as an offensive lineman, earning three ACC championships and playing in the Liberty, Gator and Cotton Bowls during his career. He was recognized for his achievements in October 2002 by his induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for the Allen-Rogowicz Chapter.

A native of Newtown, Pa., Zernhelt and his wife Katie have one son, John Paul.

John Zernhelt Coaching Ledger:

2006-12: Tight Ends, Tennessee Titans
2005:
Tight Ends, New York Jets
2004:
Head Coach, The Citadel
2003:
Offensive Coordinator, The Citadel
1999-2002:
Offensive Coordinator/Off. Line, James Madison
1996-98:
Offensive Line, South Carolina
1994-95:
Offensive Line, Duke 
1992-93:
Offensive Line, Rice
1987-91:
Offensive Line, Maryland
1982-86:
Offensive Line, East Carolina
1981:
Offensive Line, Marshall
1977-80:
Offensive Line, Ferrum College

John Zernhelt is in his seventh season with the Titans and eighth NFL season. A 36-year veteran of coaching, Zernhelt joined the Titans after one season as tight ends coach with the New York Jets.

Last year, Jared Cook posted the second-best season by a tight end in franchise history. His 759 yards ranked second only to Frank Wycheck’s 1998 season (768 yards). Craig Stevens also established himself as a solid all-around tight end, who signed a long-term deal with the team during the offseason.

Under his Zernhelt’s guidance, Bo Scaife posted 251 receptions over his six years with the Titans (2005-10). Scaife led the team with 58 grabs in 2008. His six-year reception total with Tennessee ranked 10th among NFL tight ends over that period and ranked second in franchise history for career receptions by a tight end.

As an extension of the offensive line, the tight ends are a key part of the Titans run-game. They helped the team rank in the top 10 in rushing in four of the last six seasons with 2,000 team rushing yards in each of those four campaigns. In 2009, their efforts helped Chris Johnson reach the historic 2,000-yard rushing landmark, becoming just the sixth individual in NFL history to do so.

Prior to joining the NFL, Zernhelt spent 28 seasons in the college ranks, including one year as head coach at the Citadel in 2004. He served as offensive coordinator in 2003 at the Citadel, before rising to head coach.

Zernhelt spent four seasons as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach (1999-2002) at James Madison. Before joining James Madison, he made stops as an offensive line coach at South Carolina (1996-98), Duke (1994-95), Rice (1992-93), Maryland (1987-91), East Carolina (1982-86), Marshall (1981) and Ferrum College (1977-80). At both Rice and Duke, Zernhelt worked with former Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.

A graduate of Maryland, Zernhelt enjoyed a stellar playing career for the Terrapins as an offensive lineman, earning three ACC championships and playing in the Liberty, Gator and Cotton Bowls during his career. He was recognized for his achievements in October 2002 by his induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for the Allen-Rogowicz Chapter.

A native of Newtown, Pa., Zernhelt and his wife Katie have one son, John Paul.

John Zernhelt Coaching Ledger:

2006-12: Tight Ends, Tennessee Titans
2005:
Tight Ends, New York Jets
2004:
Head Coach, The Citadel
2003:
Offensive Coordinator, The Citadel
1999-2002:
Offensive Coordinator/Off. Line, James Madison
1996-98:
Offensive Line, South Carolina
1994-95:
Offensive Line, Duke 
1992-93:
Offensive Line, Rice
1987-91:
Offensive Line, Maryland
1982-86:
Offensive Line, East Carolina
1981:
Offensive Line, Marshall
1977-80:
Offensive Line, Ferrum College

 

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