Skip to main content
Presented by

5 Things To Know About New Seahawks' Assistant Head Coach Leslie Frazier

Get to know new Seahawks assistant head coach Leslie Frazier. 


The Seahawks announced seven official hires to Mike Macdonald’s 2024 staff on Tuesday, including veteran NFL coach Leslie Frazier. Here are five things to know about the Seahawks' new assistant head coach.

Black College Royalty

Before launching a coaching career at the collegiate and professional levels spanning three decades, Leslie Frazier was a star cornerback for Alcorn State University, a Historically Black University (HBCU) in his home state of Mississippi. From 1978-1980, the Columbus, Mississippi native starred for the Braves' secondary at cornerback. As a freshman, Frazier recorded six interceptions before snagging nine picks as a sophomore to earn First Team All-SWAC Honors. Frazier caught another 5 picks as a junior in 1980, his final collegiate season.

Last June, Frazier was selected as one-of-eight inductees into the 14th Class of the Black College Hall of Fame. Frazier was named to the SWAC Hall of Fame in 2007 and Alcorn Hall of Fame in 2012.

Super Bowl Sunday: Champion Player and Coach

After failing to be selected in the 1981 NFL Draft, Frazier was picked up by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent. Frazier didn't start a game in his rookie season, but participated in 13 contests. After catching two interceptions in his second season, Frazier became a full-time starter in 1983. That year, Frazier nabbed seven interceptions, including a pick-six. He recorded another five interceptions in 1984, before leading the team in 1985 with six. Frazier's ballhawk skills would assist the 15-1 Bears in reaching Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, Frazier would take the ball on a punt return in the second quarter of the contest, suffering a major knee injury that ended his playing career.

Chicago would go on to dominate the Patriots, winning 46-10 for the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. Frazier would never play another game due to complications with the knee, but he'd earn another Super Bowl ring 22 years later as a coach.

Frazier began his journey as coach of the Trinity International University Trojans in 1988, building the program and working up the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) ranks until 1996. After a brief stint at the University of Illinois (1997-1998) as defensive backs coach, he joined the NFL ranks the following year with the Philadelphia Eagles. After stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals, Frazier was named assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2006.

On February 4, 2007, the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI, adding Frazier to the decorated list of players to win a Super Bowl as a player and coach.

Building a Top Defense in Buffalo

In 2017, the Buffalo Bills hired Frazier as defensive coordinator. The 2018 Bills defense under Frazier ranked second league-wide in total yards allowed per contest (294 YPG). A year later, Buffalo ranked third at 298.3 yards per game allowed.

Leader of Men: Turnaround in Minnesota

Since his first NFL coaching opportunity as Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach in 1999, Frazier has been an assistant head coach for three franchises (Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills). After the firing of Brad Childress in 2010, the Vikings elevated Frazier from assistant to interim head coach. After finishing the season at 3-3, Frazier was named the permanent coach by Minnesota in 2011. The Vikings would go 3-13, marking the worst finish since 1984. In 2012, the Vikings climbed to 10-6 to earn a playoff berth. It marked the biggest single-year turnaround in franchise history.

History With Mike Macdonald

Frazier's long career included spending 2016 as the secondary coach in Baltimore, where Mike Macdonald was a young defensive assistant working his way up the coaching ranks. That history, along with Frazier's impressive track record, played a role in Macdonald's decision to bring Frazier aboard in a key role with the Seahawks.

"I worked with Leslie back in Baltimore in 2016, so I've had a relationship with Les for a long time, and obviously he's got an incredible track record in the NFL, being a head coach, high-powered defenses, being on the Bears '85 team," Macdonald said Monday on Seattle Sports 710AM. "There' so much wealth of knowledge. I have so much respect for him, both in what he knows football wise, and also just his character. He's going to be a massive resource for us, and me personally navigating it being a first-time head coach. He's been through the wars, he can see around the corners, and he's been a great help so far. We're working this thing as a great partnership between him and I. I just really respect Les and I'm just really happy he decided to join us."

With the hiring of Mike Macdonald as the next head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, take a look back at his career. Macdonald spent nine of the past ten seasons on the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff serving as a defensive assistant.

Related Content