New ST Assistant joins Giants
Fassel looks for ST improvement (AP McWilliam)
Fassel looks for ST improvement (AP McWilliam)

Posted Feb 5, 2003

"I want to continue to put an emphasis on developing our special teams..." - Head Coach Jim Fassel on hiring Mike Priefer as an assistant special teams coach

The Giants have hired Mike Priefer as an assistant special teams coach and administrative assistant to head coach Jim Fassel.

Priefer, 36, spent the 2002 season in those same roles on former coach Tom Coughlin's staff in Jacksonville. His father, Chuck Priefer, just completed his sixth season as the special teams coach of the Detroit Lions.

"I want to continue to put an emphasis on developing our special teams," Fassel said. "(Special teams coach) Bruce Read can use help from the standpoint of research and developing game plans. We have so many young players playing special teams, and their development is critical. I thought it would enhance our ability to improve with another full-time coach working on special teams."

Last season was Priefer's first in the NFL. He got to see his new team in person on Nov. 3, when the Giants defeated the Jaguars, 24-17.

"I'm honored and excited to be joining the Giants," Priefer said. "They are an outstanding football team. I'm looking forward to working with Jim Fassel and his staff. They're good people. I've talked to a lot of people, and from what I hear, it's the best-run organization in the NFL."

Priefer knows some members of Fassel's staff. His father and defensive line coach Denny Marcin coached against each other in high school football in Cleveland almost 30 years ago. Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson coached at Georgia Tech with Chuck Priefer. Mike Priefer said he has known Read for about a year.

"I talked to several people and everybody spoke very highly of him," Fassel said. "I talked to Tom Coughlin about Mike, and he thinks very highly of him. He handled the exact role in Jacksonville that I want him to do here. He's a bright, organized, detail-oriented guy."

Priefer graduated from the Naval Academy in 1989 with a degree in economics. He played quarterback and wide receiver on Navy's junior varsity and lightweight teams from 1985 to 1988. He later flew helicopters as a Naval officer from 1991 to 1994.

"I was on the USS America, and we were in the gulf about a year after the war," Priefer said. "It was still considered a combat zone, but there was no combat."

Priefer began his coaching career at the Naval Academy in 1994. He was the junior varsity defensive coordinator and special teams coach in 1995 and `96. He also worked with the linebackers and defensive line.

In 1997-98, Priefer was the tackles/tight ends coach and assistant special teams coordinator at Youngstown State. He was the inside linebackers coach/special teams coordinator at Virginia Military Institute in 1999 and the defensive tackles coach and special teams assistant at Northern Illinois in 2000-2001.

Priefer was born on Aug. 21, 1966.He and his wife, Debbie, have four children: daughters Samantha (7/10/93) and Katie (11/13/98) and sons Michael, Jr. (12/13/94) and Wilson (12/21/97).

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