Ben Sirmans enters his 11th NFL season as an assistant coach in 2022 and his seventh with Green Bay as the team's running backs coach. Originally named to his position on Feb. 17, 2016, and retained by Head Coach Matt LaFleur on Jan. 31, 2019, Sirmans previously spent four seasons with the St. Louis Rams (2012-15) after 16 seasons in the college ranks.
Sirmans has worked with RB Aaron Jones for all five of Jones' seasons in the NFL as he became one of only three players in NFL history to post 4,000-plus rushing yards (4,163) and 40-plus rushing touchdowns (41) with an average of 5.00-plus yards per carry (5.06) in their first five seasons (RB Jim Brown, 1957-61; FB Jim Taylor, 1958-62). In 2021, Sirmans mentored Jones (1,190) and RB AJ Dillon (1,116) as they became only the second RB duo in team history to both register 1,100-plus yards from scrimmage in the same season, joining RBs John Brockington (1,270) and MacArthur Lane (1,106) in 1972. Jones finished with a career-high six receiving TDs in 2021, the most in a season by a Green Bay RB since Johnny "Blood" McNally had 11 in 1931.
Under Sirmans' guidance in 2020, Jones earned his first career Pro Bowl selection after recording a career-high 1,104 yards on 201 carries with nine TDs and a franchise-record average of 5.49 yards per rush attempt (min. 200 att.), joining RB Ahman Green (2000-01) as the only Packers with 1,000-plus rushing yards, nine-plus rushing TDs and 45-plus receptions in back-to-back seasons. Sirmans also helped RB Jamaal Williams record his fourth consecutive season of 450-plus rushing yards and 200-plus receiving yards, while Dillon, as a rookie, became the youngest player in team history (per Elias) to post 100-plus rushing yards and two-plus rushing TDs in a game when he finished with a career-high 124 rushing yards and two TDs on 21 carries (5.9 avg.) vs. Tennessee in Week 16.
In 2019, Sirmans tutored Jones, who had a career-best 16 rushing TDs, which was tied for the most in the NFL in '19 and was the second most in franchise history behind Taylor (19 in 1962). Jones posted 1,084 rushing yards on 236 carries (4.6 avg.), the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Packers since RB Eddie Lacy in 2014, while his 236 attempts were the fewest carries needed by a 1,000-yard rusher in team history since Brockington in 1971 (1,105 yards on 216 carries). Jones (49) and Williams (39) were the only running-back duo in the NFL to both have 35-plus receptions and multiple receiving TDs in 2019. As a group, Sirmans' backfield combined for the most receptions (101) by Green Bay RBs/FBs since 2006, the most receiving yards (881) since 2005 and the most receiving TDs (eight) since 2003.
Sirmans' third season in Green Bay saw him help guide the Packers to 1,667 rushing yards on 333 attempts, an average of 5.01 yards per carry that was the second-best mark in team history and ranked No. 2 in the league in 2018. Jones led the NFL (min. 100 att.) in yards per carry (5.47) in '18, the first Packer to lead the league in the category since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
In 2017, Sirmans first worked with Williams and Jones as they became the first rookie duo in franchise history to both rush for 400-plus yards in a season. Williams started seven contests and posted a team-high 556 yards rushing, the fourth most by a rookie in team annals. He registered 818 yards from scrimmage, the fourth-best total by a rookie in team history, highlighted by 115-plus yards from scrimmage in three consecutive games (Weeks 12-14), the first Green Bay rookie to do so since Billy Howton in 1952.
Jones played in 12 games with four starts in 2017 and rushed for 448 yards and four TDs on 81 carries, an average of 5.53 yards per carry that was good for No. 6 in franchise single-season history (min. 75 att.). Among RBs with 75-plus attempts, his rushing average ranked No. 2 in the league behind only Saints RB Alvin Kamara (6.07). Jones registered two 125-yard rushing games, matching the franchise rookie record (Brockington, 1971; Lacy, 2013) and tying for No. 4 in the league among all players in 2017.
In his first year with the Packers in 2016, Sirmans guided Ty Montgomery in a transition from wide receiver to running back after injuries to Lacy and James Starks. Montgomery started six games at RB and led the team with 457 yards and three TDs on just 77 carries, ranking No. 1 in the NFL (min. 75 att.) with an average of 5.94 yards per carry. Montgomery registered career highs in every rushing category at Chicago in Week 15, racking up 162 yards and two TDs on 16 carries (10.1 avg.), the most rushing yards by a Packer since RB Samkon Gado had 171 yards vs. Detroit in 2005.
Sirmans joined the Packers after spending four seasons (2012-15) with the Rams and establishing himself as a strong developer of young backs. In each of his final three seasons in St. Louis, Sirmans coached a rookie RB who led the team in rushing. In 2015, Sirmans tutored first-round pick Todd Gurley, who led all rookies and finished third among all NFL runners in rushing yards with 1,106 yards (4.8 avg.) to become the first Rams rookie to rush for 1,000-plus yards since Hall of Famers Jerome Bettis (1993) and Eric Dickerson (1983). Named Offensive Rookie of the Year by The Associated Press and earning Pro Bowl honors, Gurley was the first rookie in NFL history to rush for 125-plus yards in four consecutive games (finished with five total), and his 566 yards rushing were the most in a player's first four starts in the Super Bowl era.
Under Sirmans' direction in 2014, third-round selection Tre Mason ran for a team-high 765 yards in 12 games and finished second in rushing among all rookies. In 2013, fifth-round pick Zac Stacy started the final 12 games of the season and rushed for 973 yards, the third-highest total by a rookie at that point in team history. In 2012, Sirmans guided veteran Steven Jackson to his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season as he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in eight or more seasons.
Sirmans spent five seasons (2011-2007) as running backs coach at Boston College, where he mentored the school's No. 3 all-time leading rusher, Montel Harris. In 2011, Harris became the school's career rushing leader and was named the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Player of the Year before a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Harris received first-team All-ACC honors in 2010 after rushing for 1,243 yards on 269 carries (4.6 avg.) and eight touchdowns. Harris finished his junior campaign 126 yards shy of the all-time school rushing record, and was the active ACC rushing leader with 3,600 yards, the most ever recorded by a junior in the ACC.
In 2007, Sirmans helped RB Andre Callender set a BC single-season record for receptions (76), earning him All-ACC second-team honors. Callender led the ACC in yards from scrimmage with 1,709 and set a single-season ACC record for most pass receptions by a running back. The 2007 Eagles began the season 8-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country en route to finishing 11-3, the first BC team to win 11 games since 1940.
Prior to his time at Boston College, Sirmans coached running backs at Michigan State in 2005, where the Spartans finished No. 20 in the nation in rushing (201.8 ypg). In 2006, he coached special teams as well as the running backs.
Sirmans spent five seasons (2000-04) coaching at Kent State, where he tutored the running backs. In 2001 and 2002, the team ran for 215.0 yards per game, finishing No. 13 and No. 15 nationally in rushing production those two seasons. In 2004, Kent State scored 30.5 points per game, the second-best mark to that point in school history.
Sirmans began his coaching career at his alma mater, the University of Maine, serving as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator from 1996-1999. As a four-year letterman and starter, Sirmans was a running back under current Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz for three years (1990-92). He ran for 1,214 yards, earning all-conference and All-New England honors his senior year. He graduated from Maine in 1993 with a degree in physical education, health and recreation.
Sirmans was born Oct. 17, 1970, in East Orange, N.J. He is married to the former Letia Thompson. The couple has a son, Marcus, 13.