RON MIDDELTON returns for his second season as the tight ends coach after initially joining the New York Jets as part of Robert Saleh's first staff in 2021. An NFL tight end for 10 seasons, Middleton has been coaching since 1997, including 13 seasons at the NFL level.
With the Jets coaching in the 2022 Senior Bowl, Middleton, the Alabama native served as the National Team's head coach, leading the group to a 20-10 win.
In his first season with the Jets (2021), Middleton's group saw five different players record at least one explosive reception (16+ yards), tied for the most by any team in the league this season and the most on a Jets team since at least 2007. Veteran Ryan Griffin, who led the unit in receptions, yards, touchdown and explosive plays, caught at least one pass in each of his 14 games this season, the eighth-longest streak by a Jets TE since 2000.
During the 2021 season, Middleton served as the team's head coach vs. the Jaguars (12/26) after being elevated as a COVID replacement for Robert Saleh. Against his former team, Middleton helped lead the Jets to the 26-21 win as the team tied the franchise single-game record with five fourth-down attempts.
Prior to joining the Jets, Middleton spent eight seasons with Jacksonville as the tight ends coach, also serving as a special teams assistant in his first three seasons (2013-15). Between 2013-17, a Jaguars tight end produced four touchdowns in a season four different times, as both Julius Thomas (2015-16) and Marcedes Lewis (2013, '17) accomplished the feat multiple times.
Middleton's first NFL coaching position came with Tampa Bay as the tight ends/assistant special teams coach (2004-06), as he joined the team as a Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship intern in training camp the year before (2003). In each of his seasons as the tight ends coach, a Bucs tight end produced at least 35 receptions and multiple touchdowns.
Before the start of his NFL coaching career, Middleton spent 13 seasons as a college coach, after he began his career as a restricted earnings coach at Troy, where he worked as a tight ends coach and assisted with the offensive tackles (1997-98), five seasons at Mississippi, first as the tight ends coach (1999-2001) and then as the running backs/special teams coordinator (2002-03), a season at Alabama as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator (2007), and finally five seasons at Duke (2008-12), where he was the associate head coach/special teams coordinator/tight ends coach.
An NFL tight end for 10 seasons, Middleton entered the league as an undrafted rookie and played for Atlanta, Washington, Cleveland, Los Angeles Rams and San Diego. Prior to that, he spent four years at Auburn where he won three of four bowl games and earned co-offensive MVP recognition as a junior and senior.
After he graduated from Auburn with a degree in pre-law/history in 1988, Middleton later received a master's degree in sports and fitness management from Troy in 1998. He and his wife, Kalita, have four children, Desman, Ron II, Zaria and Mariah.
New York Jets | 2021-Present
Tight Ends - 2021-Present
Jacksonville Jaguars | 2013-20
Tight Ends - 2016-20
Tight Ends/Special Teams Assistant - 2013-15
Duke | 2008-12
Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends - 2008-12
Alabama | 2007
Tight Ends/Special Teams Coordinator - 2007
Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 2003-06
Tight Ends/Assistant Special Teams - 2004-06
Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship - 2003
Mississippi | 1999-2003
Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator - 2002-03
Tight Ends - 1999-2001
Tight Ends/Tackles (Restricted Earnings Coach) - 1997-98
San Diego Chargers (Tight End) - 1995
Los Angeles Rams (Tight End) - 1994
Washington Football Team (Tight End) - 1988, '90-93
Cleveland Browns (Tight End) - 1989
Atlanta Falcons (Tight End) - 1986-87
Auburn (Tight End) - 1982-85