Dom Capers is in his first season as senior defensive assistant for the Carolina Panthers in 2022. He returns to Carolina after serving as franchise's first-ever head coach from 1995-98.
Capers has 49 years of cumulative coaching experience, including 36 years in the NFL with 10 teams.
He has served as head coach or defensive coordinator for 24 years across six clubs and has coached 29 different players to 14 Associated Press All-Pro teams and 46 Pro Bowl selections.
Capers has nine years of experience as a head coach, performing the role first with Carolina and then with Houston (2001-05). In addition, he has coordinated the defenses for Green Bay (2009-17), Miami (2006), Jacksonville (1999-2000) and Pittsburgh (1995-98).
His career accolades include recognition as the 1996 Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year, following a 12-4 season with the Panthers. Capers has also garnered numerous distinctions from the Pro Football Writers of America, including Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons (1995-96) and Assistant Coach of the Year on three occasions (1994, 1999, 2009).
Before joining Carolina, Capers spent one season as senior defensive assistant for the Denver Broncos, working with current Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. With Evero as the Broncos defensive coordinator, Capers contributed to one of the league's top defenses. The Broncos ranked among the league leaders in a number of categories, including total defense (seventh – 320.0 yards per game), rushing defense (10th – 109.8), opponent third down conversion percentage (second – 34.1%), opponent redzone touchdown rate (seventh – 51.1%) and defensive three-and-out percentage (fourth – 37.9).
Before joining the Denver coaching staff, Capers spent the previous three NFL seasons serving as senior defensive assistant for three franchises. He was part of Detroit's coaching staff in 2021 after spending a year with Minnesota (2020) and Jacksonville (2019).
Prior to his three seasons as senior defensive assistant, Capers was the defensive coordinator for the Packers from 2009-17. During the eight-year span, Green Bay ranked second in wins (94) and winning percentage (.656) and tallied five NFC North division titles, three NFC Championship Game appearances and one Super Bowl Championship (XLV).
As the Packers' defensive coordinator, Capers coached nine players to a combined three All-Pro teams and 17 Pro Bowl honors. He was also awarded his third Assistant Coach of the Year honor during his tenure.
Capers joined Green Bay after serving as special assistant & secondary coach for one season (2008) in New England under Head Coach Bill Belichick. Before the Patriots, Capers coached under Nick Saban and was assistant to the head coach (2006) and defensive coordinator (2007) during his two seasons in Miami.
Preceding his time with the Dolphins, Capers was named head coach of the Houston Texans—the NFL's 32nd franchise—in 2001. He served as head coach for the first four years (2002-05) of the club's existence after spending two seasons in Jacksonville (1999-2000) as defensive coordinator.
While with the Jaguars, Capers collected his second Assistant Coach of the Year distinction in 1999 after improving a Jacksonville defense that went from 25th in 1998 to fourth in 1999. The Jaguars allowed the fewest points in 1999 (217) and led the NFL in scoring defense (13.9).
Before Jacksonville, Capers earned his first head coaching opportunity with Carolina in 1995. He led the Panthers to seven wins in his first season which set an NFL record for most victories by an expansion team in their inaugural season.
The following year, Carolina finished 12-4, won the NFC West title, and advanced to the NFC Championship game in 1996. Cappers capped the season by winning the Associated Press Coach of the Year award.
Before taking over in Carolina, Capers was Pittsburgh's defensive coordinator for three seasons (1992-94) and was part of a team that made the postseason each year. Under his guidance, the Steelers posted a Top 10 defense in each of his three seasons.
Capers began his NFL career in 1986, spending six seasons with New Orleans as defensive backs coach from 1986-91. He coached two players to Pro Bowl appearances and assisted the team to three playoff berths in that span.
In addition to his time in the NFL, Capers has 12 years of collegiate experience with seven institutions. He coached defensive backs at Ohio State University (1982-83), University of Tennessee (1980-81), University of California, Berkeley (1978-79), San Jose State University (1977) and University of Hawai'i (1975-76).
Capers began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the Kent State University (1972-74) and University of Washington (1975).
After playing safety and linebacker for Mount Union College (Alliance, Ohio) from 1968-71, Capers graduated with a degree in physical education and a minor in psychology. A native of Buffalo, Ohio, Capers and his wife, Karen, funded the Dom and Karen Capers Coaching Center as a home for coaching offices and film/meeting rooms for Mount Union's football program.
1972-74 | Kent State | Graduate Assistant
1975 | University of Washington | Graduate Assistant
1975-76 | University of Hawaii | Defensive Backs
1977 | San Jose State University | Defensive Backs
1978-79 | University of California, Berkeley | Defensive Backs
1980-81 | University of Tennessee | Defensive Backs
1982-83 | Ohio State University | Defensive Backs
1984-85 | Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars | Defensive Backs
1986-91 | New Orleans Saints | Defensive Backs
1992-94 | Pittsburgh Steelers | Defensive Coordinator
1995-98 | Carolina Panthers | Head Coach
1999-2000 | Jacksonville Jaguars | Defensive Coordinator
2002-05 | Houston Texans | Head Coach
2006-07 | Miami Dolphins | Defensive Coordinator
2008 | New England Patriots | Special Assistant & Secondary
2009-17 | Green Bay Packers | Defensive Coordinator
2019 | Jacksonville Jaguars | Senior Defensive Assistant
2020 | Minnesota Vikings | Senior Defensive Assistant
2021 | Detroit Lions | Senior Defensive Assistant
2022 | Denver Broncos | Senior Defensive Assistant
2023-pres | Carolina Panthers | Senior Defensive Assistant