North Carolina Tar Heels tight end coach John Lilly is headed to the NFL. Lilly will be the tight ends coach for the Carolina Panthers under offensive coordinator Thomas Brown and head coach Frank Reich.
There have been a lot of college football coaches bolting for the NFL this offseason including former Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
Why did Thomas Brown and Frank Reich hire former Georgia tight end coach John Lilly? Lilly has worked with Brown previously. The two worked together in Athens during the 2011 and 2015 football seasons.
Lilly coached at Georgia under head coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo as the tight ends coach and offensive special teams coordinator from 2008-2015.
In 2016, Lilly was the tight ends coach for the Los Angeles Rams. After taking 2017 off, Lilly joined Jeremy Pruitt’s staff in Knoxville as Tennessee’s Executive Assistant to Head Coach.
Lilly spent the 2019 football season as the tight ends coach for the Cleveland Browns. However, he was not retained when the franchise fired Freddie Kitchens. He then coached at UNC from 20220-2023.
During Lilly’s time with the Bulldogs, Georgia had several record-setting seasons: 72 touchdowns in 2012, 484.14 yards per game in 2013 and 41.3 points per game in 2014. All were the best marks in school history. Lilly served as the Bulldogs’ interim offensive coordinator during the 37-14 win over Louisville in the 2014 Belk Bowl and the 24-17 victory over Penn State in the 2016 Tax Slayer Bowl.
He coached tight ends like Arthur Lynch, Orson Charles, and Aron White during his time with Georgia. He guided Georgia’s punt unit, which featured Ray Guy Award winner Drew Butler.