The Washington Redskins announced today that they have named Ben Kotwica (COT-wee-kuh) as Special Teams Coordinator.
Kotwica is entering his eighth NFL season after spending the first seven years of his NFL career in various coaching capacities with the New York Jets.
Before assuming the role of coordinator in 2013, Kotwica assisted with the Jets’ special teams in multiple roles across the 2007-12 seasons.
The Jets accounted for 10 combined kick and punt return touchdowns during his time as an assistant, tied for most in the AFC and tied for second-most in the NFL.
The Jets averaged a league-best 24.6 yards per kick return in those six seasons and had a kick returner finish in the Top 5 in the NFL in kick return four times (Joe McKnight, 2012; Joe McKnight, 2011; Brad Smith, 2010; and Leon Washington, 2007).
Kotwica helped Leon Washington earn his first career Pro Bowl berth as a kick returner following the 2008 season.
In addition to his football career, Kotwica’s background includes his time as a decorated officer who spent eight years in the United States Army after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
His military career included operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea and Iraq. In 2004, he was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, serving as a Combat Attack Helicopter Commander and flying more than 1,000 combat hours in support of five maneuver Brigades within the 1st Calvary Division.
During his service, Kotwica was awarded with the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star.
Kotwica played at Army from 1993-96 and was a three-year starter at linebacker.
He was the captain of the only 10-win team in Army history, leading the Black Knights to a 10-2 record and the program’s most recent Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in 1996.
KOTWICA FOOTBALL TIMELINE
1993-96: Linebacker, United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point
2005-06: USMA Prep School, Defensive Coordinator
2007-08: Quality Control – Defense/Special Teams, New York Jets
2009-12: Assistant Special Teams, New York Jets
2013: Special Teams Coordinator, New York Jets2014: Special Teams Coordinator, Washington Redskins