Coaches

Mike Gillhamer
Secondary Coach
College:
Humboldt State
Hometown:
Fresno, CA
Experience:
15

Mike Gillhamer enters his fourth year as the secondary coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Gillhamer holds 36 years of coaching experience as 2015 marks his 15th season coaching in the NFL.

 

In 2014, Gillhamer coached a unit that included two players who earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in their careers, safety Mike Adams and cornerback Vontae Davis. Adams started all 16 games and tied for the NFL lead in takeaways (seven) and tied for third in the league in interceptions (five). He also finished the season with a career-high 93 tackles and tied a personal-best with 11 passes defensed. Davis tallied 44 tackles (38 solo) and set or tied single-season career highs in passes defensed (18), interceptions (four), forced fumbles (two) and fumble recoveries (one). He also notched the most passes defensed (seven) in a single postseason in Colts history in over 20 years. Starting cornerback Greg Toler set single-season career highs in games started (15), tackles (62), passes defensed (10) and tied a personal-best with two interceptions.

 

In 2013, Gillhamer led a secondary that contributed with 12 of the team’s 15 total interceptions in addition to 54 passes defensed. Cornerback Darius Butler led the team with four interceptions for the second consecutive season, bringing his total to eight from 2012-13, which led all AFC cornerbacks during that span. Cornerback Cassius Vaughn set a career-high with three interceptions, while Davis, Josh Gordy and Toler each added one pick. Safety Antoine Bethea topped the 100-tackle mark for the sixth consecutive season, ranking second on the team with 121 tackles.

 

In his first season with the Colts, Gillhamer coached a secondary which assisted in tying a team record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns. Three cornerbacks, including Butler (Week 10), Davis (Week 17) and Vaughn (Week 14) earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors while Bethea garnered Ed Block Courage Award accolades. The secondary also combined for 10 of the team’s 12 interceptions while collectively totaling 49 passes defensed.

 

Davis notched 53 tackles, 1.0 sack, three interceptions and eight passes defensed while tying a single-game career-high with two interceptions in Week 17 against Houston. Vaughn ranked fourth on the team with 70 stops while adding one interception and nine passes defensed. Butler, who was signed as a free agent in September, compiled 30 tackles while leading the team with four interceptions. His four interceptions and two returned for touchdowns both set career highs. He also became the fourth Colts player since 1984 to record three-or-more takeaways in a single game during the team’s Week 10 win at Jacksonville.

 

Possessing over three decades of coaching experience, Gillhamer made an immediate impact with the University of Illinois secondary prior to joining the Colts. The unit helped lead the school to a No. 4 national ranking in pass defense in 2011. His four starters in the secondary all ranked in the top nine on the team in tackles.

 

Prior to coaching at Illinois, Gillhamer spent seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2004-2010), working with the safeties and secondary unit. In his first season with Carolina in 2004, his tutelage played a role in the Panthers defense that led the NFL with a team-record 26 interceptions and ranked second in the league with 38 takeaways.

 

Before his time with the Panthers, Gillhamer was the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at the University of Louisville in 2003, and the secondary coach at the University of Oregon from 2001-02. He helped the Ducks to a Fiesta Bowl victory and a final No. 2 national ranking in 2001.

 

Gillhamer began his NFL coaching career as an offensive assistant with the New York Giants in 1997. He assisted with the running backs during his first three seasons before taking over as the running backs coach in 2000. The Giants advanced to the Super Bowl and ranked third in the NFC in rushing in 2000.

 

Gillhamer broke into coaching at the College of Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., from 1979-1983, overseeing the defensive line for one season before coaching the defensive backs for the remainder of his tenure. He was then the defensive backs coach at Weber State University in 1984, the University of Utah from 1985-89 and San Jose State University from 1990-93. Gillhamer moved to the University of Nevada from 1994-95, where he handled the secondary in his first season and served as the defensive coordinator in 1995. He also worked as the secondary coach at Rutgers University in 1996. Gillhamer served as a guest assistant coach with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League in 1988.

 

A native of Fresno, Calif., Gillhamer played defensive back at Carroll College (Mont.) in 1972, Wenatchee Junior College (Wash.) in 1973 and Humboldt State University (Calif.) from 1974-75, where he was named the team's most valuable defensive back as a senior. He also played baseball and ran track for the Lumberjacks. Gillhamer graduated with a degree in physical education from Humboldt State in 1976 and received his master's degree in special education in 1981.

 

Gillhamer has two daughters, Meagen and Taylor.

 

Coaching Career

1979                College of the Sequoias          Defensive Line

1980-1983       College of the Sequoias          Secondary

1984                Weber State                            Secondary

1985-1989       Utah                                        Secondary

1990-1993       San Jose State                       Secondary

1994                Nevada                                   Secondary

1995                Nevada                                   Defensive Coordinator

1996                Rutgers                                   Secondary

1997-1999       New York Giants                    Offensive Assistant

2000                New York Giants                    Running Backs

2001-2002       Oregon                                    Secondary

2003                Louisville                                 Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

2004-2008       Carolina Panthers                   Safeties

2009-2010       Carolina Panthers                   Secondary

2011                Illinois                                      Secondary

2012-2015       Indianapolis Colts                    Secondary

Mike Gillhamer enters his fourth year as the secondary coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Gillhamer holds 36 years of coaching experience as 2015 marks his 15th season coaching in the NFL.

 

In 2014, Gillhamer coached a unit that included two players who earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in their careers, safety Mike Adams and cornerback Vontae Davis. Adams started all 16 games and tied for the NFL lead in takeaways (seven) and tied for third in the league in interceptions (five). He also finished the season with a career-high 93 tackles and tied a personal-best with 11 passes defensed. Davis tallied 44 tackles (38 solo) and set or tied single-season career highs in passes defensed (18), interceptions (four), forced fumbles (two) and fumble recoveries (one). He also notched the most passes defensed (seven) in a single postseason in Colts history in over 20 years. Starting cornerback Greg Toler set single-season career highs in games started (15), tackles (62), passes defensed (10) and tied a personal-best with two interceptions.

 

In 2013, Gillhamer led a secondary that contributed with 12 of the team’s 15 total interceptions in addition to 54 passes defensed. Cornerback Darius Butler led the team with four interceptions for the second consecutive season, bringing his total to eight from 2012-13, which led all AFC cornerbacks during that span. Cornerback Cassius Vaughn set a career-high with three interceptions, while Davis, Josh Gordy and Toler each added one pick. Safety Antoine Bethea topped the 100-tackle mark for the sixth consecutive season, ranking second on the team with 121 tackles.

 

In his first season with the Colts, Gillhamer coached a secondary which assisted in tying a team record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns. Three cornerbacks, including Butler (Week 10), Davis (Week 17) and Vaughn (Week 14) earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors while Bethea garnered Ed Block Courage Award accolades. The secondary also combined for 10 of the team’s 12 interceptions while collectively totaling 49 passes defensed.

 

Davis notched 53 tackles, 1.0 sack, three interceptions and eight passes defensed while tying a single-game career-high with two interceptions in Week 17 against Houston. Vaughn ranked fourth on the team with 70 stops while adding one interception and nine passes defensed. Butler, who was signed as a free agent in September, compiled 30 tackles while leading the team with four interceptions. His four interceptions and two returned for touchdowns both set career highs. He also became the fourth Colts player since 1984 to record three-or-more takeaways in a single game during the team’s Week 10 win at Jacksonville.

 

Possessing over three decades of coaching experience, Gillhamer made an immediate impact with the University of Illinois secondary prior to joining the Colts. The unit helped lead the school to a No. 4 national ranking in pass defense in 2011. His four starters in the secondary all ranked in the top nine on the team in tackles.

 

Prior to coaching at Illinois, Gillhamer spent seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2004-2010), working with the safeties and secondary unit. In his first season with Carolina in 2004, his tutelage played a role in the Panthers defense that led the NFL with a team-record 26 interceptions and ranked second in the league with 38 takeaways.

 

Before his time with the Panthers, Gillhamer was the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at the University of Louisville in 2003, and the secondary coach at the University of Oregon from 2001-02. He helped the Ducks to a Fiesta Bowl victory and a final No. 2 national ranking in 2001.

 

Gillhamer began his NFL coaching career as an offensive assistant with the New York Giants in 1997. He assisted with the running backs during his first three seasons before taking over as the running backs coach in 2000. The Giants advanced to the Super Bowl and ranked third in the NFC in rushing in 2000.

 

Gillhamer broke into coaching at the College of Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., from 1979-1983, overseeing the defensive line for one season before coaching the defensive backs for the remainder of his tenure. He was then the defensive backs coach at Weber State University in 1984, the University of Utah from 1985-89 and San Jose State University from 1990-93. Gillhamer moved to the University of Nevada from 1994-95, where he handled the secondary in his first season and served as the defensive coordinator in 1995. He also worked as the secondary coach at Rutgers University in 1996. Gillhamer served as a guest assistant coach with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League in 1988.

 

A native of Fresno, Calif., Gillhamer played defensive back at Carroll College (Mont.) in 1972, Wenatchee Junior College (Wash.) in 1973 and Humboldt State University (Calif.) from 1974-75, where he was named the team's most valuable defensive back as a senior. He also played baseball and ran track for the Lumberjacks. Gillhamer graduated with a degree in physical education from Humboldt State in 1976 and received his master's degree in special education in 1981.

 

Gillhamer has two daughters, Meagen and Taylor.

 

Coaching Career

1979                College of the Sequoias          Defensive Line

1980-1983       College of the Sequoias          Secondary

1984                Weber State                            Secondary

1985-1989       Utah                                        Secondary

1990-1993       San Jose State                       Secondary

1994                Nevada                                   Secondary

1995                Nevada                                   Defensive Coordinator

1996                Rutgers                                   Secondary

1997-1999       New York Giants                    Offensive Assistant

2000                New York Giants                    Running Backs

2001-2002       Oregon                                    Secondary

2003                Louisville                                 Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

2004-2008       Carolina Panthers                   Safeties

2009-2010       Carolina Panthers                   Secondary

2011                Illinois                                      Secondary

2012-2015       Indianapolis Colts                    Secondary