Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced today that he has hired Dean Pees as linebackers coach, replacing Vic Fangio, who served last season in that role.
The Ravens also lost quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson today after he accepted the offensive coordinator's job with the Oakland Raiders.
Pees, 60, just completed his sixth season with the New England Patriots, the last four as defensive coordinator. A 37-year coaching veteran, Pees was the head coach at Kent State (in Ohio) from 1998-2003 and spent 15 other seasons as a defensive coordinator on the collegiate level.
"I've know Dean for 27 years, and he's our type of coach – energetic, hard-working and innovative," Harbaugh said in a statement. "He has worked with all three levels of defense – defensive line, linebackers and secondary. His experience and wealth of knowledge speak for themselves. Dean has also earned respect from his players and fellow coaches because he has been a coordinator. He'll help our linebackers complement the guys up front and in the back end. He'll fit in with us well, and we're excited to get him."
The Patriots' defense allowed less than 20 points per game in every season under Pees' guidance. In 2009, New England ranked 11th in the NFL in total defense (320.2 yards a game) and fifth in scoring defense (17.8 points a game).
Pees' connections to the Ravens and Maryland are deep-rooted. In addition to serving as the Naval Academy's secondary coach from 1987-89, Pees was Harbaugh's defensive coordinator during the 1983 season at Miami (Ohio) University, where Harbaugh played defensive back.
"He was the one coach who thought I could play," Harbaugh said of Pees.
Pees also coached with Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison at the Naval Academy, where Mattison was the defensive line coach from 1987-88.
"It's a privilege and an honor to be a part of an organization like the Ravens," Pees said. "I'm very anxious and excited for the opportunity to work with Coach Harbaugh and also Greg Mattison, with whom I have coached. I think this is a tremendous opportunity and something that my family and I are very excited about. I can't wait to get to work."
Photo of Dean Pees by the Associated Press