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This is a 2023 photo of Nathaniel Willingham of the New York Jets NFL football team. This image reflects the New York Jets active roster as of Wednesday, July 19, 2023 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

Nathaniel Willingham

Defensive Assistant

College: Menlo College

Hometown: Mountain View, Calif.

Experience: 5 years


NATHANIEL WILLINGHAM begins his first season with the New York Jets after joining Robert Saleh's staff as the defensive assistant on February 1, 2022. For Willingham, this is his fourth season coaching in the NFL after five at the college level.

Prior to joining the Jets, Willingham spent three seasons with Denver (2019-21) as the defensive quality control coach. During his time, the Broncos become the first team since 1995 to lead the league in red zone defense in consecutive seasons (2019-20).

Willingham spent five seasons at the college level, including four years at Stanford as a football quality control analyst (2018), defensive assistant (2016-17), and recruiting assistant (2015). In his time there, the Cardinal posted a 40-14 record and won the Rose Bowl (2015). He got his start in college coaching at Menlo College (2014) in California as the tight ends coach before the school eliminated the football program.

A former prep center and defensive tackle at Skyline, Willingham began his coaching career at the school in a variety of roles, ultimately serving as the defensive line coach (2011-12). In his three seasons coaching the varsity, the school won a pair of state championships and posted a 37-5 record.

Willingham and his wife, Rachel, have a son, Auggie. His father, Tyrone, a coach for over 30 years, was the head coach at Stanford (1995-2001), Notre Dame (2002-04) and the University of Washington (2005-08).


New York Jets | 2022-Present

Defensive Assistant - 2022-Present

Denver Broncos | 2019-21

Defensive Quality Control - 2019-21

Stanford University | 2015-18

Football Quality Control Analyst - 2018

Defensive Assistant - 2016-17

Recruiting Assistant - 2015

Menlo College | 2014

Tight Ends - 2014

Skyline (WA) HS | 2008-12

Defensive Line - 2011-12

Assistant Linebackers - 2010

Defensive Line/Offensive Line (J.V.) - 2008-09