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Coaches

Kirk Olivadotti
Inside Linebackers
Age:
43
College:
Purdue
Hometown:
Wilmington, Del.
Experience:
15

Kirk Olivadotti enters his 15th NFL season – all with the Redskins – in 2017 after returning for his second stint with the team on January 16, 2014.

Olivadotti returned to the Redskins – with whom he spent 11 NFL seasons in various capacities from 2000-10 – in 2014 after three years coaching inside linebackers at the University of Georgia from 2011-13. Olivadotti is one of 11 members of the Redskins’ assistant coach honor roll, which recognizes coaches with at least 10 seasons of service as an assistant in Washington.

Kirk Olivadotti enters his 15th NFL season – all with the Redskins – in 2017 after returning for his second stint with the team on January 16, 2014.

Olivadotti returned to the Redskins – with whom he spent 11 NFL seasons in various capacities from 2000-10 – in 2014 after three years coaching inside linebackers at the University of Georgia from 2011-13. Olivadotti is one of 11 members of the Redskins’ assistant coach honor roll, which recognizes coaches with at least 10 seasons of service as an assistant in Washington.

Olivadotti's linebackers contributed heavily to the team's 986 total tackles in 2016, third-most in the NFL. He helped further develop fourth-year pro Will Compton, who completed his journey from practice squad player (2013) to special teamer (2014) to spot starter (2015) to defensive captain (2016). He also created an effective platoon at the opposite linebacker spot, helping Mason Foster to a team-high 123 tackles (88 solo) on primarily early downs while integrating hybrid rookie weapon Su'a Cravens in that role in passing situations. Olivadotti's teaching helped Cravens, become the second-youngest player to play in a season opener for the Redskins (21 years and 67 days old).

In 2015, Olivadotti successfully coached a unit that helped guide the Redskins to a 9-7 record and an NFC East championship despite featuring a rotating cast of players as the result of injuries. The Redskins began the year with Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley, Jr. patrolling the inside linebacker positions, with the duo recording an interception off of former Super Bowl MVPs Tom Brady and Eli Manning, respectively. Olivadotti groomed and developed Compton into a reliable starter during the team’s season-ending four-game winning streak and effectively integrated Foster, a midseason acquisition, into the spot opposite Compton.

In his first season back in Washington in 2014, Olivadotti’s tutelage helped Robinson blossom in his first season as a starter. Despite missing three games, Robinson led the Redskins with 108 total tackles, including a 14-tackle performance in a win vs. Tennessee in which Robinson earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

At Georgia, Olivadotti coached a linebacker corps that produced NFL draft picks Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree. The Bulldogs averaged 10 wins a season in Olivadotti’s three years, including ending the 2012 season with a 12-2 record and a No. 5 national ranking.

During Olivadotti’s initial 11-season stint with the Redskins, Washington finished in the top 10 in the NFL in overall defense on eight occasions. The Redskins allowed an average of 313.1 yards per game in Olivadotti’s 11 years on staff, fourth-fewest in the NFC and seventh-fewest in the NFL in that time frame.

In 2009, he tutored a pair of linebackers to their first Pro Bowl: London Fletcher, who earned his initial trip in his 12th season, and Brian Orakpo, who was one of four NFL rookies selected. Fletcher led the Redskins in tackles with 172 and added two sacks, one interception and 10 passes defensed.  He eclipsed the 100-tackle mark for the 11th consecutive season. 

Orakpo became the first Redskins defensive rookie to make the Pro Bowl since the 1970 merger. He is only the second Redskins rookie to be chosen, joining kick returner Tony Green (1978). Orakpo finished with 60 tackles, including three for loss, 11 sacks for 76 yards lost, one forced fumble and two passes defensed.  He led all rookies in sacks and tied for most among NFC linebackers with Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware. Orakpo’s 11 sacks finished tied for seventh in the NFL and fourth in the NFC, and set the franchise rookie record, surpassing the previous mark of six by Dean Hamel (1985) and Andre Collins (1990). 

In 2008, Olivadotti’s linebackers played a pivotal role in Washington ranking fourth overall in yards allowed per game (288.8), sixth in points allowed per game (18.5) and eighth in rushing yards allowed per game (95.4 yards). 

The previous year, in Olivadotti’s first season as linebackers coach,  Washington finished eighth in the NFL in overall defense (305.3 yards per game) and fourth in the league in rush defense (91.3 yards per game). The tandem of Fletcher (156 tackles) and Rocky McIntosh (105 tackles) finished as the team’s top tacklers.

Throughout his NFL coaching career, Olivadotti has worked with some of the best defensive minds in the NFL, including Ray Rhodes, Marvin Lewis, Gregg Williams, Greg Blache and Jim Haslett. Olivadotti began his NFL coaching career with the Redskins in 2000 as a defensive quality control coach. He served in that role for four seasons and also helped coach the defensive backs.

He continued as quality control coach in 2004, but also took on a role assisting the Redskins’ special teams units. In 2006, Olivadotti’s role expanded to working with the Redskins’ defensive line.

Olivadotti began his coaching career on the college level, working with wide receivers and tight ends at Maine Maritime for one season (1997). He moved to Indiana State as an assistant coach for two years (1998-99) before making the transition to Washington and the NFL.

Olivadotti was a four-year letter winner as a wide receiver at Purdue from 1993-96.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in education and his master’s degree in education administration, both from Purdue. He is the son of Tom Olivadotti, a long-time defensive coach in the NFL with the Browns, Dolphins, Vikings, Giants and Texans. Kirk and his wife, Keely, have a daughter, Kasyn, and a son, Kruz.

OLIVADOTTI FOOTBALL HISTORY

1993-96: Wide Receiver, Purdue

1997: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends Coach, Maine Maritime

1998-99: Assistant Coach, Indiana State

2000-03: Def. Quality Control/DB Assistant, Washington Redskins

2004-05: Def. Quality Control/ST Assistant, Washington Redskins

2006: Def. Line Assistant/ST Assistant, Washington Redskins

2007-09: Linebackers Coach, Washington Redskins

2010: Defensive Assistant, Washington Redskins

2011-13: Inside Linebackers, Coach Georgia

2014-Present: Inside Linebackers, Coach Washington Redskins

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    Posted Mar 18, 2016

    Inside Linebackers Coach Kirk Olivadotti joins Redskins Nation with Larry Michael to talk about signing Mason Foster last season, his expectation for Martrell Spaight, his journey to becoming a football coach, and the key to forcing turnovers.

  • Kirk Olivadotti Talks Linebacker Talent

    Posted Mar 15, 2016

    Inside Linebackers Coach Kirk Olivadotti joins Redskins Nation with Larry Michael to talk about the Linebackers who stepped up this season and his tenure as a Redskins Coach.