Erik Chinander, who has been associated with football programs that have accrued a record of 117-38 at the junior college, FBS, FCS and professional levels, is in his second season as the Ducks’ outside linebackers coach after being named to the position on Jan. 15, 2014.
The 35-year-old Iowa native served as assistant defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 season following three years as an intern (2010) and graduate assistant (2011-12) for the Ducks under former head coach Chip Kelly.
He has made an immediate impact on the defense’s success both on and off the field. The tireless recruiter helped elevate the game of Tony Washington, who graduated second on the team in tackles for loss (11.5-76 yds.) and quarterback sacks (6.0-63 yds.) in addition to tying for third in the Pac-12 in forced fumbles (3). In addition he molded Tyson Coleman into a 15-game starter in addition molding the Ducks’ depth along the perimeter.
Among the mentors for the energetic Chinander was the Ducks’ former defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro, who also worked alongside Oregon’s newest assistant coach in the NFL.
He contributed to defensive efforts that finished third in the Pac-12 Conference in scoring defense and fourth against the run in 2012, as well as led the league in quarterback sacks in 2011.
Philadelphia completed the 2013 regular season 10th in the league in rushing defense.
While taking into account his previous stops at Northern Iowa (2004-09) and Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College (2003), he has contributed to the success of programs that advanced to post-season play on 13 occasions within his last 14 years in the game.
Included among his pupils during his previous Oregon stint were all-conference standouts Kenny Rowe, Brandon Bair and Dion Jordan, who was the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. All three players remained on NFL rosters at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
With the Eagles, he served as assistant defensive line coach and was involved in assisting with the development of defensive game and practice plans, coordinating the scout teams and the evaluation of current and future personnel.
Philadelphia advanced to last year’s NFL playoffs as the NFC East Division Champions.
The Ducks made three BCS bowl appearances during his tenure, including the 2011 BCS National Championship and wins in the 2012 Rose and 2013 Fiesta bowls, in addition to claiming a pair of conference championships.
Prior to his previous Oregon stay, Chinander coached slotbacks and tight ends at Northern Iowa, where he coached alongside the Ducks’ offensive coordinator Scott Frost in 2007 and ’08. In addition, he assisted with the defensive and special teams scout units.
His tight ends made major strides throughout his tenure in Cedar Falls while he also gained the reputation as a tireless recruiter. He tutored the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s second-team all-league honorees in 2008 and ’09 while Ross Hannam was second on the team in receptions (22) in 2006. Several of his players were invited into NFL camps following their collegiate careers while UNI stepped up a level of competition to defeat Iowa State, 24-13, in 2007 before dropping a 17-16 decision at Iowa in 2009.
UNI won three league titles and played for the FCS national championship in 2005 while the Panthers advanced to the FCS semifinals in 2008. They completed that season with a 12-3 record after posting a 12-1 mark the previous year.
Chinander was in charge of both the offensive and defensive lines at Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College in 2003 as the program finished second in the region. In his lone year there, he coached a trio of first-team and one honorable mention all-region standouts, in addition to coordinating strength and conditioning programs for the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The former offensive line walk-on at the University of Iowa (1998-2002) played on teams that won the 2001 Alamo Bowl and participated in the 2003 Orange Bowl as Big 10 Conference champions. His playing career coincided with the assistant coaching tenure of the Ducks’ second-year defensive line coach Ron Aiken, who served as the defensive line coach in Iowa City from 1999-2006.
Chinander was honored with the Hawkeyes’ Offensive Team Leader award following his senior season (2002).
The first-team all-state prep standout and son of a high school football coach earned bachelor’s degrees from Iowa in health leisure and sports studies, as well as history, in 2003.