Ravens Running Backs Coach Thomas Hammock has been named head coach of his alma mater, Northern Illinois University, the university announced Friday.
Hammock has been Baltimore’s running backs coach the past five seasons, and several running backs enjoyed breakout seasons during his tenure despite not being highly-touted backs.
A former journeyman, Justin Forsett rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards in 2014, while Alex Collins emerged from the practice squad to rush for a career-high 973 yards in 2017.
This season, undrafted rookie running back Gus Edwards (718 yards, 137 carries) blossomed into the Ravens’ lead back over the final seven games, rushing for over 100 yards three times. Edwards and No. 2 running back Kenneth Dixon both averaged over five yards per carry, as Baltimore finished with the NFL’s No. 2 rushing attack (152.6 yards per game) behind the Seattle Seahawks (160 yards per game).
The 37-year-old Hammock was an assistant coach at NIU (2005-06), and he also spent three seasons as assistant head coach at Wisconsin before leaving to join the Ravens. He replaces former NIU head coach Rod Carey, who left to become head coach at Temple.
Hammock’s departure leaves the Ravens with two vacancies on the coaching staff – running backs coach and wide receivers coach. Former wide receivers coach Bobby Engram has moved to tight ends coach.