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January 25, 2014

Report: Maxie joins staff

One of the final pieces to Derek Mason's initial staff of assistants appears to be in place at Vanderbilt as Brett Maxie has agreed to coach Commodore defensive backs according to a report by FootballScoop.com.

The 52-year old Dallas native comes to Vanderbilt after spending 16 years within the NFL coaching ranks, including the last two seasons down the road with the Tennessee Titans as its secondary coach.

Maxie's influence over the Titans defense was seen almost immediately in 2012 as the squad posted 19 interceptions that season with 13 coming from the secondary, highlighted by corner Jason McCortney's four picks and safety Michael Griffin's four.

The Titans secondary continued its strong play in 2013, ranking 11th against the pass as other players such as corner Alterraun Verner, who turned into a Pro Bowler and second team All-Pro. Veteran Bernard Pollard also enjoyed one of his better years in the league under Maxie.

Maxie spent four years with the Dallas Cowboys prior to coming to Nashville, working under notable defensive coordinators Wade Phillips and Rob Ryan.

Dallas' secondary led the defense in 2008, resulting in the Cowboys placing 5th against the pass in the league. Corners Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins led the defensive backs once again in 2009 as the Cowboys captured another NFC East title and finished 11-5 on the year. Dallas also won a playoff game for the first time in 13 years with a 34-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

The defense slipped a bit in 2010 but the unit still recorded 20 interceptions including 15 from its secondary, highlighted by Gerald Sensabaugh's five. The secondary overall was one of the most opportunistic in terms of creating turnovers in the league during Maxie's tenure as defensive back coach.

Maxie spent one year with the Miami Dolphins in 2007, under the guidance of legendary defensive coordinator Dom Capers. The Dolphins ranked fourth in the league that season, surrendering just 188.7 yards per game despite being undermanned and finishing just 1-15 in the league.

Maxie worked three seasons in Atlanta from 2004-2006, working with Falcons defensive backs such as DeAngelo Hall, Aaron Beasley, Kevin Mathis and Keion Carpenter. The Falcons may have struggled against the pass in 2004, but the secondary posted a club-record five defensive touchdowns, including four off of interception returns. Atlanta went 11-5 and captured the NFC South title and reached the conference title game before falling to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons ranked 14th against the pass in 2005 despite seeing several defensive backs on injured reserve.

Maxie spent five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 1999-2003, spending his first three as a assistant secondary coach and the final two as the secondary coach. The 49ers posted 24 interceptions in 2001 en route to a 12-4 season and the team's first playoff birth in three years. As the primary director of the secondary in 2002, the 49ers ranked 8th in interceptions with 19, highlighted by safety Tony Parrish seven picks and free safety Ronnie Heard's four. San Francisco also captured the NFC West Division title for the first time in five years. The 49ers picked off 23 passes in 2003.

Maxie began his coaching career in 1998 as a quality control coach for the Carolina Panthers.

Maxie played 13 years in the league as a safety after entering as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Southern in 1985. He played in 153 games during his career, making 104 starts with 23 interceptions and three touchdowns. He best run came with the New Orleans Saints from 1985-1993, excelling under Jim Mora. The Saints enjoyed its best six-year run in franchise history in 1987-1992 while Maxie emerged as a starter in the secondary. The team went 62-33 overall during that time, reaching the playoffs four times and capturing the NFC West title in 1991.

After a few injury plagued years and a move to Atlanta, Maxie enjoyed two resurgent years with Carolina under Capers, starting 29 games and posting seven interceptions as the Panthers went from expansion team to playoff contender in the blink of an eye. Carolina went 12-4, captured the NFC West title and reached the conference title game in 1996.

Maxie finished out his playing career with the 49ers in 1997.

Maxie earned a degree in biology while at Texas Southern. He and his wife, Angela, have four children. His sons Brett and Adam currently play at Kent State University. Brett is a junior quarterback while Adam is a freshman cornerback.

Maxie's appointment completes Mason's first defensive staff, joining defensive coordinator David Kotulski, defensive line coach Vavae Tata and outside linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson.

Mason is expected to make one more hire in the coming weeks, likely for the offensive side of the ball.

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