Testimonials - Gill Byrd
"I realized I needed a professional or else I would have sold myself short."
Gill Byrd compiled a stand-out 10-year NFL career playing exclusively with the San Diego Chargers and retired after the 1993 season as the team's all-time leader in interceptions (42) and interception return yards (546), two records which he still owns. Chosen by the Chargers with the 22nd overall pick of the first round in the 1983 NFL Draft, Byrd led all NFL cornerbacks in interceptions for three consecutive seasons (1989-91) and paced the Chargers in four straight years (1988-91). Earning All-NFL honors from The Sporting News in 1989 and Football Digest in 1990, Byrd was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1991 and 1992 seasons. Gill's speed propelled him into one of the premier NFL players and in 1998 he was inducted, as the 25th member into the Chargers Hall of Fame.
Gill spent 2 years as a sports commentator and returned to the NFL with the Green Bay Packers in 1999, serving as the team's executive director/player programs and community affairs for two seasons (1999-2001).. In that role, Byrd directed the family assistance program of the Packers™ players along with guiding players in continuing education, financial education and career internships. He began his coaching career as a volunteer with the Rams in 2003 under then-defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. Byrd earned a coaching contract at the end of the 2003 season and was promoted to assistant secondary coach in 2005.
Byrd graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in finance. He and wife Marilyn have two sons: Gill II is a senior defensive back at New Mexico State and Jairus is a redshirt freshman safety at Oregon. Athletic accomplishments notwithstanding, when you talk to Gill Byrd about his most important moments in life, he speaks not about athletics but about being a dad. Gill relishes the thought of being a positive influence. "First and foremost," says Gill, "I'm a role model to my children before anybody else and believes that a loving relationship with his wife (Marilyn) is the best thing he can do for his children.
Gill Byrd is in his first season as the Bears defensive quality control coach. Gill went to Chicago from St. Louis where he began his coaching career and spent the previous three years. His first two seasons were spent as the Rams defensive assistant before being promoted to assistant secondary coach for the 2005 campaign. In addition to his coaching duties Gill, along with Bart Starr, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner and others, devotes time to Christian discipleship as a Heart of a Lion Ambassador and his 1st Quarter Curriculum.