Sean Kugler

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Sean Kugler
refer to caption
Kugler in 2014
Personal information
Born: (1966-08-09) August 9, 1966 (age 56)
Lockport, New York, U.S.
Career information
Career history
As a coach:

Sean Patrick Kugler (born August 9, 1966) is an American football coach and former run game coordinator and offensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served as the head coach at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 2013 to 2017. Kugler was an assistant coach in the NFL for the Detroit Lions (2001–2005), Buffalo Bills (2007–2009), Pittsburgh Steelers (2010–2012), and Denver Broncos (2018).

Early years[edit]

Kugler was born and raised in Lockport, New York[1] where his father, Robert, was the assistant fire chief. He has two brothers and two sisters.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Kugler attended the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 1984 to 1988, earning letterman honors in football for all four years. The 1988 team played in the Independence Bowl.[3] His position coach at UTEP was Andy Reid, who would later become head coach of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.[4]

Kugler signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 1989,[2] but after sustaining a concussion in training camp, he was released.[5] In 1991, he was drafted by the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football (WLAF).[6] He started at guard for one season with the Surge.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Kugler began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach for Florida high schools Tampa Bay Vo-Tech and Gaither HS while completing his degree in education at the University of South Florida (USF). After three years in Florida, he spent the next eight seasons (1993–2000) at UTEP, working his way from graduate assistant (1993), to tight ends coach in (1994), and finally to offensive line coach (1995–2000).[7]

First NFL stint[edit]

Kugler got his first professional coaching experience in 2001 as a tight end coach with the Detroit Lions of the NFL. He later worked his way into a role as offensive line coach in 2004.[7]

There's absolutely no question that he's the best football coach I've ever been around.

— Boise State head coach Chris Petersen on Kugler[8]

Boise State[edit]

In 2006, Kugler moved to Boise State, assuming a role as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. The 2006 Boise State Broncos football team was the only undefeated team in college football that year, winning the WAC title and beating Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. They boasted the sixth-ranked rushing performance in the nation behind Kugler's offensive line led by sophomore Ryan Clady and junior Jeff Cavender, who earned All-WAC honors.

Second NFL stint[edit]

Kugler joined the Buffalo Bills in 2007 as assistant offensive line coach.[2] He was promoted to offensive line coach the following year.[9] He quickly improved the Bills' line and mentored tackle Jason Peters to two consecutive Pro Bowl selections. Kugler’s units blocked for three consecutive 1,000-yard rushers: Marshawn Lynch (2007-08) and Fred Jackson (2009).[10] The Bills' offensive line surrendered only 26 sacks in 2007, and they maintained the same lineup for 15 consecutive games.[9][11]

He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, replacing offensive line coach, Larry Zierlein.[12] He had previously replaced Zierlein as assistant line coach for the Bills in 2007.[2] In his first season as a coach with the Steelers, the team made it to the Super Bowl despite season-ending injuries to both starting offensive tackles and a rookie starting center.[13] Center Maurkice Pouncey made his first three Pro Bowls under Kugler from 2010-12.


On December 10, 2012, UTEP named Kugler as the new head coach, replacing the retired Mike Price.[14][15] In addition to leading the Miners to the New Mexico Bowl in 2014, Kugler’s team achieved a perfect APR academic score of 1,000 and had the highest GPA and graduation rates in school history.[16] Kugler coached two All-Americans—running back Aaron Jones and guard Will Hernandez—while at UTEP. He resigned during the 2017 season after an 0-5 start.[17]

Denver Broncos[edit]

Kugler was hired by the Denver Broncos on January 2, 2018 to be the offensive line (guards/center) coach.[18]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

On January 13, 2019, Kugler was hired by the Arizona Cardinals to be their offensive line coach.[19]

On November 20, 2022, Kugler was fired by the Cardinals after Mexican authorities informed the team he had groped a woman while in Mexico City for the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers.[20] Kugler hired a law firm to investigate the allegations and filed a request for arbitration with the NFL.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Kugler has three children: sons Robert and Patrick and daughter Kali, and a stepson, Javi, with wife Monica.[7] Robert and Patrick played on high school football teams that won state championships two straight seasons — in 2009 in New York and 2010 in Pennsylvania. Robert was named the Class AAAA co-Player of the Year by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and played college football for the Purdue University Boilermakers from 2011 to 2014, including two seasons as their starting center.[3][13][22] His younger son, Patrick, played college football for the University of Michigan Wolverines from 2014 to 2017, including one season as their starting center.[23]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
UTEP Miners (Conference USA) (2013–present)
2013 UTEP 2–10 1–7 7th (West)
2014 UTEP 7–6 5–3 T–2nd (West) L New Mexico
2015 UTEP 5–7 3–5 T–4th (West)
2016 UTEP 4–8 2–6 T–5th (West)
2017 UTEP 0–5 0–1 (West)
UTEP: 18–36 11–22
Total: 18–36


  1. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers Assistant Coaches". NFL. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e D'Onofrio, John (February 6, 2007). "Kugler Comes Home to Join Bills Staff". Niagara Gazette. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Knight, Bill (January 15, 2011). "Former UTEP Miner Sean Kugler coaching Steelers". El Paso Times. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  4. ^ McLane, Jeff (February 3, 2011). "Steelers coach: Reid's job on the line". Birds' Eye View: The Inquirer's Eagles Blog. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  5. ^ Prisuta, Mike (August 30, 1989). "Steelers tell Keith Gary to Start Packing". The Beaver County Times. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  6. ^ Van Vliet, Jim (February 15, 1991). "Surge Picks Big Man in WLAF Draft". Lodi News-Sentinel. McClatchy News Service. p. 19. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "Sean Kugler bio". (official website). Pittsburgh Steelers. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Graham, Tim (January 13, 2010). "Steelers hire Bills O-line coach Kugler". Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Sean Kugler bio". (official website). Buffalo Bills. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  10. ^ Schubert, Erich. "Broncos Media Guide" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Bills 2007 Season". Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  12. ^ "Steelers Announce Coaching Changes". (team's website). January 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  13. ^ a b Wilson, Allen (February 2, 2011). "Kugler landed on his feet with the Steelers". The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  14. ^ "UTEP hires Sean Kugler as coach". Associated Press. December 10, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  15. ^ Bloomquist, Bret (December 8, 2012). "Pittsburgh Steelers coach, Sean Kugler, will take over as UTEP's head football coach". El Paso Times. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  16. ^ Schubert, Erich. "Broncos Media Guide" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Kugler Resigns".
  18. ^ Crabtree, Curtis (January 4, 2018). "Reports: Broncos hire Sean Kugler as offensive line coach". ProFootballTalk.
  19. ^ Kwong, Andy (January 13, 2019). "Arizona Cardinals hire Sean Kugler as Offensive Line Coach".
  20. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (November 23, 2022). "Cardinals assistant coach Sean Kugler fired for groping woman, sources say".
  21. ^ "Fired former Cardinals assistant Sean Kugler requests arbitration". NFL. Associated Press. December 16, 2022. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  22. ^ "Robert Kugler Bio". Purdue University.
  23. ^ "Patrick Kugler Bio". University of Michigan.

External links[edit]