New Falcons head coach Mike Smith’s coaching staff was completed today when the team announced they had hired a new linebackers coach in Glenn Pires and also opted to retain Billy “White Shoes” Johnson as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Pires served as an assistant with the Miami Dolphins for the past five seasons, working as an assistant linebackers (2007), defensive quality control (2005-06), and assistant defensive line (2003-04) coach in his time there. Prior to joining the Dolphins, Pires spent two seasons as linebackers coach for the Detroit Lions and five years in the same role with the Arizona Cardinals. His first coaching stint was as a graduate assistant with Syracuse in 1983. He worked as defensive line and linebackers coach at Dartmouth (1985-88) afterwards before going back to Syracuse in 1989 in charge of the defensive line. He also worked with the team’s outside linebackers before moving on to Michigan State (1995) for one season before joining the pro ranks with the Cardinals in 1996.
Johnson will join Bill Hughan as an assistant to new strength coach Jeff Fish. Johnson first joined the Falcons organization in 1994 in charge of player programs and development before moving into the coaching ranks in 2006 as an assistant strength coach. Fish will mark the third different strength coach that Johnson has worked under, starting with Sal Alosi in 2006 and followed by Evan Marcus last year. Johnson had an extensive playing career (1974-88) as a wide receiver and returner, including six years with the Falcons (1982-87). He currently ranks second all-time for the Falcons in punt return yards (1,251) and sixteenth in receiving yards (2,062).