A name familiar to Aggie fans is Dat Nguyen (pronounced WIN), the former Texas A&M All-American linebacker and the 1998 Lombardi and Bednarik Award winner, was named the inside linebackers coach on February 13, 2010.
"I am very excited to announce Dat Nguyen has joined our staff to coach inside linebackers," head coach Mike Sherman said. "The fact that Dat was a great player for the Texas Aggies and the Dallas Cowboys had considerably less to do with his hiring. It was the fact that he thoroughly impressed me in two separate interviews, one in Dallas on Wednesday of last week, and one in College Station on Thursday. His intelligence, knowledge and passion for the game are what impressed me most. It was also evident to me while listening to him during the interview that he has played and coached with some of the finest defensive head coaches in the game of football- namely R.C. Slocum, Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips. He evidently has paid attention through the years."
"On a side note," Sherman explained, "I must admit his story on how he got to A&M as a not so highly recruited athlete is one worth repeating. For him to rise his senior year toward being one of the country's best linebackers is a credit to his discipline, focus and determination. To ultimately get drafted by the Dallas Cowboys is just another example of how this Texas high school football player realized his goals through hard work and commitment. He made the most out of his opportunity and should prove to be a valuable lesson to both recruits and players. Again, I am extremely excited to have Dat on the staff. When I offered him the job early Friday morning, he was anxious to get started with coaching the linebackers."
Nguyen has served the past three seasons as an assistant linebackers and defensive quality control coach for the Dallas Cowboys' organization.
"I could not be happier about returning to Aggieland to work on Coach Mike Sherman's staff," Nguyen said. "I am ecstatic about having this opportunity to work with Coach DeRuyter and I am very familiar with the 3-4 scheme. I look forward to working with all of the coaches and staff as well as the outstanding Aggie football players. I have a great passion for teaching and a great passion to help our team win championships."
After earning his degree from Texas A&M in 1998, Nguyen was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft and made an immediate impact leading the club in special teams tackles as a rookie and becoming the starting middle linebacker in his second year. As he was at Texas A&M, Nguyen was one of the most popular players in the Cowboys' organization and he played seven years in Dallas before injuries forced him to retire in 2005.
During his time at Aggieland, Nguyen was a consensus All-America linebacker, the Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year and still holds the school career record for tackles (517). He started every game of his Aggie career (51 straight) and is the only Aggie defender to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive years.
THE NGUYEN FILE
BOWL GAMES AS A PLAYER
- 2010-: Texas A&M (inside linebackers)
- 2007-09: Dallas Cowboys (asst. linebackers/defensive quality control)
- 1999: Sugar Bowl
- 1998: Cotton Bowl
- 1995: Alamo Bowl