Bedford To Direct Cowboy Defense
Vance Bedford
Vance Bedford

Posted Jan 14, 2005

Vance Bedford, who has spent the past six seasons as defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears, accepted the defensive coordinator’s position on Mike Gundy’s staff at Oklahoma State University on Friday afternoon, sources have told Bedford, who played at Texas (1977-79, ‘81), becomes the eighth hire by Gundy since he was named head coach of the Cowboys on Jan. 3.

It will be Bedford’s second stint as an assistant coach of the Cowboys. He coached defensive backs at OSU for two seasons (1993-94). He left Oklahoma State to coach the defensive backs at Michigan for four years (1995-98) before accepting a position with the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

Since Feb. 8, 1999 Bedford has coached the Bears’ secondary where he groomed each of the team’s starters. R.W. McQuarters, who played at OSU from 1995-97, has been a member of the Bears’ secondary the past four seasons. Bedford was instrumental in the development of Mike Brown, who earned All-Pro honors in 2001 and led the team in interceptions in 2001-2002.

He also helped convert college running back Jerry Azumah into a starter at cornerback and was instrumental in bringing along Charles Tillman, who was named Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year in 2003.

At Michigan, the Wolverine pass defense was ranked among the nation’s best under Bedford’s guidance, including a No. 1 ranking in the nation in 1997 (allowing only 133.8 yards per game and an NCAA record 8.8 yards-per-completion). Bedford was the secondary coach when former Wolverine Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy after the 1997 season.

Bedford’s coaching career began at Forestbrook High School in Houston in 1985. He moved on to Navarro (Texas) Junior College in 1986 and then to Colorado State from 1987-92. As previously mentioned, he joined the OSU coaching staff in 1993.

Bedford will be joining the following staff members who Gundy has hired in the last 12 days: offensive coordintaor Larry Fedora, offensive line coach Joe Wickline, tight ends coach Doug Meacham, running backs coach Curtis Luper, wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer, director of football operations Jimmy Gonzales and strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass.

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