HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON MAKES FIRST ADDITION TO HIS STAFF: GARY GIBBS AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATORFormer Dallas Cowboys Assistant has 23 years of coaching experienceFor Immediate Release: Jan. 23, 2006The New Orleans Saints have hired Gary Gibbs as defensive coordinator, the club announced today. Gibbs, the linebacker coach for the Dallas Cowboys for the last four seasons and a 23-year coaching veteran, has been a coordinator three times, including at LSU in 2001. Gibbs, 53, is the initial hire by head coach Sean Payton for his staff.“When I was introduced last week I said that I wanted to bring teachers in who were looking to work hard, enjoy their work and be part of a team with everyone moving in the same direction,” said Payton. “Gary defines that description. He is extremely dedicated and getting him in New Orleans sets the tone for the rest of the additions to my coaching staff.” Gibbs is a proven leader and an experienced defensive strategist. He joined Bill Parcells’ staff in 2002 and made the Cowboys’ linebacker corps one of the team’s standout position groups. Since Gibbs’ arrival, linebackers have led the club in stops each season and posted some of the top tackle-totals in franchise history.“Gary stresses the fundamentals and has a sound philosophy on what he expects from a defense,” Payton said. “But he doesn’t allow that to take away from aggressiveness that you look for that is necessary to make plays.”Gibbs was hired by Dallas after serving as the defensive coordinator at LSU in 2001 and the University of Georgia in 2000. The Tigers – who finished 21st nationally in defense and led the SEC in interceptions with 18 – compiled a 10-3 record that season and won the SEC title and the Sugar Bowl. While at Georgia, the Bulldogs defense ranked 19th in the country and allowed only 18 points per contest.Previously, Gibbs had a 23-year stint at the University of Oklahoma as a player, assistant and head coach. He was the head coach of the Sooners from 1989-94, posting a record of 44-23-2. Gibbs was the defensive coordinator under former head coach Barry Switzer from 1981 until taking over as the head coach. During that span, Oklahoma led the nation in total defense three-straight years (1985-87). Gibbs was a linebacker at the school from 1972-74, and the Sooners finished No. 1 in the nation in 1974, with Gibbs recording 114 tackles that season.Born Aug. 13, 1952, he and his wife, Neanne, have two daughters Whitley and Jordan.