College Coach Joins Staff; More Changes on Defense

The two former players coaching the Miami Dolphins defensive backs last season won't be back in 2024

The coaching moves just keep coming for the Miami Dolphins, and the latest one involves the addition of a college coach with some great NFL bloodlines.

University of Hawaii co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Roman Sapolu will be joining the Dolphins, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, though it's unclear in what capacity.

Sapolu is the son of former San Francisco 49ers guard Jesse Sapolu, who started 154 games during his NFL career and was part of four Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1980s and '90s.

Roman Sapolu, who played collegiately at Oregon State, has never coached in the NFL but he did serve as a summer coaching intern working with the offensive line with the 49ers in 2018 when Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was beginning his second season as the team's run game coordinator.

Butch Barry just completed his first season as offensive line coach, while assistant OL Lemuel Jeanpierre has been with the team in that capacity since 2020, though he served as the O-line coach in 2021.

Three Dolphins offensive assistants also reportedly won't be back in 2024: Ricardo Allen, Mike Judge and Kolby Smith.


Before Sapolu, the Dolphins hired Brian Duker as their new secondary coach/pass game coordinator.

The news first was reported Saturday by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, and later confirmed by a league source.

Duker previously worked with new Dolphins defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver when both were on the Cleveland Browns staff in 2015.

Duker spent the past three seasons with the Detroit Lions, working last season as their defensive backs coach. That came after three years with the Baltimore Ravens, where his stint ended right before Weaver joined that organization.

According to the good folks at Fan Nation sister site All Lions, Duker "worked his way up the Lions organization. During his time working with the safeties in 2022, he aided Kerby Joseph have a stellar rookie season with four interceptions. In 2023, he moved up to serve as team’s defensive backs coach. Unfortunately, the unit struggled all season. But injuries hit one of their top free agent targets, Emmanuel Moseley, early in his Lions tenure."

Renaldo Hill, who was the secondary coach and passing game coordinator under Vic Fangio last season, will not be back with the Dolphins next season and one has to wonder whether he'll wind up rejoining him with the Philadelphia Eagles. Former Dolphins greeat Sam Madison also reportedly won't be back after serving the past two seasons as the cornerbacks coach/pass game specialist.


Duker became the second new defensive assistant coach hired this week after new outside linebackers coach Ryan Crow.

While all the coaching moves won't be officially announced until the staff is finalized, it already has been reported that, along with Fangio, Hill and Madison, linebackers coach Anthony Campanile, assistant special teams coach Brendan Farrell, safeties coach Joe Kasper, assistant defensive line Kenny Baker, and Judge, Smith and Allen all won't be back with the Dolphins in 2024.

As a matter of practice, the Dolphins don't officially announce staff changes other than coordinator positions until the staff is fully assembled.

Related: Dolphins In Line for Overseas Game in 2025

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