Tewksbury's Aylward Lands Coaching Job In The NFL
Feb 18, 2019 05:31AM
By Bill Gilman
With his pedigree, it's not a big surprise that Johnny Aylward would one day get a job coaching in the NFL.What might be surprising is that he landed a gig just weeks after earning his college degree.
Earlier this month, the Houston Texans confirmed that Aylward as an offensive assistant, joining the staff of Head Coach Bill O'Brien for the 2019 season.
Among the Texans' other "rookie" assistant coaches include former NFL quarterback T.J. Yates and former NFL linebacker Akeem Dent.
Aylward said he got his first of coaching in the NFL when he interned for O'Brien and the Texans last summer during rookie camp and OTAs.
But coaching is part of Aylward's DNA. His grandfather, Bob Aylward coached the Tewksbury High football team for 23 seasons (1974-96) and his father, Brian Aylward, has coached the Redmen for the past 22 seasons. Both won Super Bowl championships during their tenures.
Johnny Aylward was the quarterback for the 2013 TMHS squad that posted an unbeaten record and won the Division 3 State Championship. This past fall, he wrapped up his football career at Division 2 St. Anselm, where he played wide receiver and quarterback and majored in finance. He was awarded his degree in December.
But the financial world world will have to wait to experience Aylward's talent. After signing his contract with the Texans, he moved to the Houston area in January to settle into his new life in the NFL.
He joins a staff led by newly promoted Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly. The Texans, led by dynamic quarterback DeShaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, won the AFC South title last season, before being knocked out of the playoffs in the Wild Card round by the Indianapolis Colts.
Tewksbury High AD Ron Drouin said he believes Aylward is the first Tewksbury High grad to be hired to coach in the NFL. Alum Adam Fuller is on the staff at the University of Memphis.
Aylward's connection with Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien goes back considerably farther than last summer. O'Brien is a Merrimack Valley guy, having grown up in Andover and attending St. John's Prep. Brian Aylward and O'Brien were college teammates at Brown University and have remained good friends over the years. Safe to say O'Brien is well aware of the level of intelligence, integrity and work ethic Johnny Aylward brings with him.
While the official NFL schedules have not been released, Houston knows who its opponents will be. Noteworthy will be one particular home game for Texans against the defending World Champion New England Patriots. Though just a rookie assistant, Johnny Aylward will have the chance to help prepare and coach an offensive unit, going up against a Bill Belichick defense.
This latest chapter in the Aylward coaching legacy promises to be something special.
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