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Jeff Imamura
Assistant Defensive Backs/Nickels
College:
Texas Christian
Experience:
11

Bio

COACHING
Jeff Imamura joins the Panthers in 2017 as assistant defensive backs/nickels coach. He comes to Carolina with 10 years of NFL coaching experience, most recently with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.

Imamura worked as a defensive assistant with the Rams for two seasons, assisting with linebackers in 2016 and defensive backs in 2015. Over those two seasons, the Rams created 245 negative plays, the most in the NFL.

He contributed to a defense in 2016 that rated ninth in the NFL and featured linebackers Alec Ogletree, who earned All-Pro honors, and Mark Barron. Ogletree paced the team with 171 tackles, while Barron was second with 147. The year before Imamura aided a secondary that helped the defense stand sixth in the league in third down defense and tie for 10th in takeaways.

Previously, Imamura spent eight seasons from 2006-13 with the Minnesota Vikings, where he assisted with the secondary for two years and linebackers for six years. During that time, the Vikings finished among the NFL's top 10 in total defense four times, won consecutive NFC North titles in 2008 and 2009 and advanced to the NFC Championship in 2009.

From 2012-13, Imamura served as the Vikings' assistant secondary/safeties coach. In 2013, safeties Andrew Sendejo, Jamarca Sanford and Harrison Smith all placed in the top five on the team in tackles. Under Imamura's guidance, Smith earned all-rookie honors in 2012 after tying for the team lead with three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, while Sanford set a team record for the most forced fumbles in a season by a defensive back with five. The defense allowed 64 fewer points than in 2011, improving 11 positions in scoring defense, and held opponents to 14 points or less in six games.

As a defensive assistant/assistant linebackers coach for the Vikings from 2006-11, Imamura coached three Pro Bowl linebackers in Chad Greenway, Heath Farwell and E.J. Henderson. Greenway led the Vikings in tackles for the fourth consecutive season in 2011 after topping the NFC in the category in 2010.

Minnesota's linebackers played a key role on a defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL from 2006-08. In 2007, Henderson, Greenway and linebacker Ben Leber finished first, second and third on the team, respectively, in tackles for the league's best rushing defense. This followed Imamura's first season with the team in 2006 when the Vikings also ranked first against the run by surrendering the second fewest rushing yards since the NFL merger in 1970 with 985, an average of 61.6 per game.

Between his time with the Vikings and Rams, Imamura tutored linebackers at Minot State in 2014. Two of his starters garnered all-conference recognition in their first year playing the position.

Prior to entering the NFL, he spent seven seasons on the college level, including 2003 as the outside linebackers coach at Saginaw Valley State. Imamura helped the Cardinals end the regular season atop the Division II polls with an 11-0 record, win the Great Lakes Conference and finish seventh in the country in scoring defense.

That came after a three-year stint from 2000-02 at Northern Arizona as the defensive line coach. In 2001, Imamura directed a unit that contributed to the Lumberjacks ranking first in the Big Sky Conference in run defense with an average of 107.8 yards per game and allowing a conference-low 12 rushing touchdowns as the team advanced to the Division I-AA playoffs for just the second time in school history.

He began his coaching career in 1997 at his alma mater, Texas Christian, as a defensive assistant, supporting the Horned Frogs' defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
Imamura graduated from Texas Christian with a degree in finance and later pursued an MBA at Colorado State.

HISTORY
College coach: Texas Christian 1997-99, Northern Arizona 2000-02, Saginaw Valley State 2003, Minot State 2014. Pro coach: Minnesota Vikings 2006-13, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 2015-16, joined Panthers in 2017.

COACHING
Jeff Imamura joins the Panthers in 2017 as assistant defensive backs/nickels coach. He comes to Carolina with 10 years of NFL coaching experience, most recently with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.

Imamura worked as a defensive assistant with the Rams for two seasons, assisting with linebackers in 2016 and defensive backs in 2015. Over those two seasons, the Rams created 245 negative plays, the most in the NFL.

He contributed to a defense in 2016 that rated ninth in the NFL and featured linebackers Alec Ogletree, who earned All-Pro honors, and Mark Barron. Ogletree paced the team with 171 tackles, while Barron was second with 147. The year before Imamura aided a secondary that helped the defense stand sixth in the league in third down defense and tie for 10th in takeaways.

Previously, Imamura spent eight seasons from 2006-13 with the Minnesota Vikings, where he assisted with the secondary for two years and linebackers for six years. During that time, the Vikings finished among the NFL's top 10 in total defense four times, won consecutive NFC North titles in 2008 and 2009 and advanced to the NFC Championship in 2009.

From 2012-13, Imamura served as the Vikings' assistant secondary/safeties coach. In 2013, safeties Andrew Sendejo, Jamarca Sanford and Harrison Smith all placed in the top five on the team in tackles. Under Imamura's guidance, Smith earned all-rookie honors in 2012 after tying for the team lead with three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, while Sanford set a team record for the most forced fumbles in a season by a defensive back with five. The defense allowed 64 fewer points than in 2011, improving 11 positions in scoring defense, and held opponents to 14 points or less in six games.

As a defensive assistant/assistant linebackers coach for the Vikings from 2006-11, Imamura coached three Pro Bowl linebackers in Chad Greenway, Heath Farwell and E.J. Henderson. Greenway led the Vikings in tackles for the fourth consecutive season in 2011 after topping the NFC in the category in 2010.

Minnesota's linebackers played a key role on a defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL from 2006-08. In 2007, Henderson, Greenway and linebacker Ben Leber finished first, second and third on the team, respectively, in tackles for the league's best rushing defense. This followed Imamura's first season with the team in 2006 when the Vikings also ranked first against the run by surrendering the second fewest rushing yards since the NFL merger in 1970 with 985, an average of 61.6 per game.

Between his time with the Vikings and Rams, Imamura tutored linebackers at Minot State in 2014. Two of his starters garnered all-conference recognition in their first year playing the position.

Prior to entering the NFL, he spent seven seasons on the college level, including 2003 as the outside linebackers coach at Saginaw Valley State. Imamura helped the Cardinals end the regular season atop the Division II polls with an 11-0 record, win the Great Lakes Conference and finish seventh in the country in scoring defense.

That came after a three-year stint from 2000-02 at Northern Arizona as the defensive line coach. In 2001, Imamura directed a unit that contributed to the Lumberjacks ranking first in the Big Sky Conference in run defense with an average of 107.8 yards per game and allowing a conference-low 12 rushing touchdowns as the team advanced to the Division I-AA playoffs for just the second time in school history.

He began his coaching career in 1997 at his alma mater, Texas Christian, as a defensive assistant, supporting the Horned Frogs' defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
Imamura graduated from Texas Christian with a degree in finance and later pursued an MBA at Colorado State.

HISTORY
College coach: Texas Christian 1997-99, Northern Arizona 2000-02, Saginaw Valley State 2003, Minot State 2014. Pro coach: Minnesota Vikings 2006-13, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 2015-16, joined Panthers in 2017.