Bradford Banta, a former Lion, enters his sixth season with Detroit’s coaching staff. He was promoted to assistant linebackers coach in 2012 after being the assistant special teams coach the previous four seasons.
LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
- The Lions linebacker corps of Stephen Tulloch, Justin Durant and DeAndre Levy led the Lions in total tackles in 2012, finishing with 112, 103 and 81, respectively.
- S John Wendling is tied for first in the NFL with 51 special teams tackles over the past three seasons (2010-12) and was fourth on the team last season with 10.
- In 2011, K Jason Hanson finished with 126 points which was the fourth best for a single season in franchise history.
- Hanson also had five 50-yard field goals (second-highest of his career) and became the first player in NFL history to kick 50 50-yard field goals in his career.
- In 2010, the Lions’ kick return unit was the third-most improved unit in the League in kickoff return average with 3.5 more yards per return than in 2009.
- Detroit also had the NFL’s 10th-most significant improvement in punt return average in 2010: the Lions had an 8.8 punt return average in 2009 and improved to an average of 12.1 yards per return in 2010.
- In average kickoff return yardage allowed, Detroit had the fourth-most improved coverage unit, allowing an average of 2.7 less yards per each kick return in 2010.
Before returning to Detroit in 2008, Banta spent the 2009 season as a tight ends coach for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. He played three of his 11 NFL seasons with the Lions (2001-03) as a tight end and longsnapper.
After being drafted by Indianapolis in the fourth round of the 1994 NFL Draft, Banta spent six seasons with the Colts and established himself as one of the League’s best longsnappers. He joined the New York Jets for the 2000 season before coming to Detroit in 2001. He finished his career with Buffalo in 2004.
Upon his retirement from the NFL, Banta worked with George Wright Construction, as a supervisor, for a year and in Chase’s Home Financial Division for nearly two years in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Banta was a two-year starter at tight end at the University of Southern California (1989-93) as well as a four-time letter-winner. He earned Honorable Mention All-Pac 10 Conference honors as a junior and senior and received his bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in sociology in 1993.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., Banta was a Parade All-American as a senior at University High School and helped them to the state championship (1988) while playing tight end and linebacker. He and his wife, Amy, have three children.
BRADFORD'S COACHING BACKGROUND
Detroit Lions 2008-present
• Assistant Linebackers 2012-present
• Assistant Special Teams 2008-11 University of Tennessee Chattanooga 2007
• Tight Ends 2007