Vernon Dean enters his first season as the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions linebackers coach. Dean brings a vast array of experience to the Golden Lions coaching staff as he has coached on the high school, collegiate and professional level.
He joined the NFL coaching ranks in 2003 after spending 10 seasons coaching on the collegiate and high school level. He assisted Peter Giunta in tutoring the Kansas City Chiefs secondary in 2003 prior to taking over the reigns as cornerbacks coach the next two seasons. The addition of Dean to the Chiefs coaching staff in 2003 coincided with Safety Jerome Woods earning his initial Pro Bowl berth. That season Kansas City ranked third in the NFL with 25 interceptions due in large part to the play of the Chiefs defensive backs. While at Kansas City Dean was also instrumental in the development of former UAPB football player Greg Wesley.
Dean brings a wealth of hands-on expertise to his post with UAPB after serving seven seasons as an NFL cornerback with Washington (’82-87) and Seattle (’88). Originally a second-round draft choice (49th overall) of the Redskins in ’82, Dean played in 101 regular season games (59 starts), registering 22 interceptions for 274 yards with two touchdowns, as well as seven fumble recoveries, including one for a TD.
He also saw duty in 15 career postseason contests, producing four INTs in those games. Raised in Los Angeles, California, Dean made three Super Bowl appearances with Washington and was part of Joe Gibbs’ squads that claimed victories in Super Bowls XVII and XXII. He was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by Football Digest in ’82 and also earned first-team NFL All-Rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers Association and second-team All-NFC accolades from UPI that same season.
Dean gained his initial NFL coaching experience serving an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Baltimore Ravens during their 2001 training camp, working under the direction of linebackers coach Jack Del Rio (now head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars) and defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis (now head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals). He was scheduled to serve a fellowship with the Arizona Cardinals in training camp in 2002, before accepting a post as the defensive backs coach at Western Illinois.
Prior to his stint with the Leathernecks, Dean coached the secondary at Western Oregon in 2000-01. From ’97-99 he served as the defensive backs coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California after spending several years working in both finance and real estate.
He began his coaching career at Georgetown University where he tutored defensive backs for the Hoyas in ’90 before serving as the club’s defensive coordinator in ’92 and ’93. An All-Western Athletic Conference selection and honorable mention All-America pick as a senior at San Diego State, Dean led the league with six interceptions that season. His coaching career also includes a stint at Fort Valley State (2008) where he coached the secondary.
Dean began his collegiate playing career at Los Angeles Valley Junior College and spent one season at U.S. International University, where he had 10 interceptions as a junior. He transferred to San Diego State after USIU dropped its football program.
Education: USIU, San Diego State, Western Oregon University (B.S. 2001).
Born: Houston, Texas.
Family: Single, with two sons - Joshua, a former safety at San Diego State and Jaylon.