Minters — dad Rick and son Jesse — keep it all in the family, now in NFL with Los Angeles Chargers

Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter watches against East Carolina in the first half of a game in Ann Arbor on Sept. 2. (AP file photo)

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Father’s Day is always a special time for Rick and Jesse Minter. Sunday, though, might’ve been extra rewarding.

The Minters are on the same staff for the sixth time in their coaching careers, but this is the first time they have worked together in the NFL.

Jesse Minter is the Los Angeles Chargers’ defensive coordinator, and Rick, his dad, is a senior defensive analyst. They were also part of Jim Harbaugh’s University of Michigan staff that won the national championship in January.

“I don’t want to say he’s winding down because he hasn’t slowed down. But as you get older and get to that point in your career to have the opportunity to win a championship together, there’s really not a better story,” Jesse Minter said. “And, just from there, it was great to stay with Coach Harbaugh, keep the band together, and move out west.”

After Chris Partridge was fired as Michigan’s linebacker coach, Rick Minter stepped in and coached the final six games. The elder Minter could not attend the team ring ceremony in April because it was the same weekend as his mom’s 90th birthday, but Jesse brought them back to Southern California and presented them to him.

This is a 2014 photo of Rick Minter. Father’s Day is always a special time for Rick and Jesse Minter. But this is the first time they are working together in the NFL. Jesse Minter is the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers and Rick is a senior defensive analyst. They were also part of Jim Harbaugh’s University of Michigan staff that won the national championship in January. (AP file photo)

“It hasn’t soaked in even now that we won the national championship. We go on to the next day and the next drill. Someday, you know, I’ll look back on even more memory. I have those rings, and they last forever,” Rick Minter said.

Rick Minter, who will turn 70 on Oct. 4, has over 45 years of coaching experience in the college and pro ranks, including 10 seasons as the head coach at the University of Cincinnati.

During his time at Cincinnati, Minter had future NFL coaches John Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin and Rex Ryan on his staff, as well as Jimbo Fisher. Harbaugh and Tomlin have each won a Super Bowl, and Fisher won a national title at Florida State.

Minter’s first foray into the NFL came in 2013 as a linebackers coach on Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia staff. He spent three seasons with the Eagles (2013-15) before returning to college.

Jesse Minter was on John Harbaugh’s Baltimore staff from 2017-20. He was a defensive assistant his first three years before coaching the defensive backs in 2020.

The Minters were at Vanderbilt in 2021 — Jesse as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach while Rick was an analyst — before Jim Harbaugh called and brought them to Michigan.

“The thing that he’s always done for me ever since I got into this profession, he’s looked out for me first and himself second,” said Jesse Minter, who turned 41 on May 9.

“As a son, it’s what you want in a dad. I’m able to come into work every day and run stuff by him, and he can come into my office and tell me the truth or look at things another way.

“There’s not a lot of guys that have that guy, particularly when it’s your dad. We don’t always see things the same, but we know that I have his best interest, and he has my best interests.”

Jim Harbaugh, who got to coach with his dad, Jack, at Western Kentucky, also appreciates the relationship the Minters share.

“The father-son dynamic is close to my heart,” Harbaugh said. “I love talking football with Rick Minter and seeing the interaction with him and Jesse.”

The Minters are one of at least five father/son duos on the same NFL staff.

Christian Daboll is an offensive assistant on his dad, Brian’s, staff with the New York Giants, Tennessee Titans coach Brian Callahan has his father, Bill, as the offensive line coach, De’Andre Pierce is an offensive assistant for Antonio Pierce at the Las Vegas Raiders, and Spencer Reid is the assistant strength and conditioning coach on Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs staff.

Antonio Pierce, who became a father at 18 when De’Andre was born, said having him on staff has been special.

“So, sophomore year of college, you’ve got a son, I’m chasing my career goal and there’s a lot of things I missed. There are a lot of graduations, performances, and practices I couldn’t take him to. And I didn’t want a chance that when I got older and finished playing to miss those again,” Antonio Pierce said. “The cool part about it and Father’s Day coming up and for all our coaches and all the fathers out there, there’s nothing like that relationship.”

Rick and Jesse Minter will spend Sunday together. Jesse’s older brother, Josh Minter, lives in New York and will FaceTime.

“It’s good to be called coach,” Rick Minter said before pausing a couple of seconds. “But it’s a big honor to be called Dad.”


This story has been corrected to show that Rick Minter is Jesse’s father, not his son.


AP Sports Writer Mark Anderson in Las Vegas contributed to this report.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl


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