Charlie Coiner

American Football

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Brazil

Charlie Coiner is a former NFL and NCAA football coach of 30 years and current founder and CEO of FirstDown PlayBook. FirstDown PlayBook is a football playbook software company created for football coaches. The mission is to help coaches at all levels spend more time
developing football players and less time consumed with designing plays. FirstDown PlayBook accomplishes this by providing coaches with over 35,000 editable football plays in a digital format.

Certainly, nine years in the NFL and another 20 in the NCAA doesn’t happen by accident. A career like this happens when a coach knows how to develop talent—and knows how to win. In 1983, with no coaching experience, Waynesboro, Virginia native Charlie Coiner had big dreams and made a bold move by approaching a new, now national, coaching figure. His timing was perfect.

In 1983, Charlie Coiner served as a graduate assistant at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Mack Brown, now Head Coach at the University of North Carolina, had just begun his first head-coaching job. Coiner recalls, “I wanted to get into coaching, but I had
little to no experience. So, I walked into Coach Brown’s office and asked if I could coach. He told me he couldn’t pay me, and I kind of thought that was a fair deal since I didn’t know very much.”
Coiner stayed for five years—and proved his worth.

Thereafter, Coiner rode the coaching carousel. After Appalachian, Coiner worked on offense, defense, recruiting, and special teams for Minnesota, Austin Peay, Vanderbilt, Texas Southern, Louisville, UT Chattanooga, LSU, Tennessee, North Carolina and again at Texas Southern.

Coiner coached for the NFL’s Chicago Bears under Dick Jauron (QB’s &QC 2001-2003) and was then retained by new coach Lovie Smith to assist with the special teams (2004-2005). He then moved on to coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2006 (Tight Ends, 2006-09). During this tenure
with the Bills, he helped lead a young group of tight ends to career numbers while they also contributed as blockers for a rushing attack that ranked fifth in the AFC.As the 2010 New Year rolled in, the Bills dismissed their entire coaching staff. After only a short time without a gig, and given an unexpected vacancy, North Carolina coach Butch Davis grabbed Coiner as an assistant coach for defense. “Coiner’s smart. He’s got good communication skills. He’s a good teacher,” Coach Davis says.

In 2011, Coiner moved to Austin, Texas, and took a break from coaching. He then began using the unusual time he had away from the game, as Coiner says, “to become a better coach.”

Coiner began digitally converting dozens of playbooks in order to find plays more quickly once he returned to coaching. “When friends looked at all the football plays I had drawn up from the NFL and colleges, they
said, ‘You’ve got an app there’.” Today, FirstDown PlayBook™ focuses on helping coaches find plays with speed and efficiency as well as allows coaches to draw their own plays using the best football drawing tool in the world.

“I’m excited about this football product. We’re giving a coach a chance to do something that’s never been done before—save time by finding football plays, defenses and special teams schemes in mere seconds.
Time is not a coach’s friend. With FirstDown PlayBook, coaches can quickly search for and edit plays that give them a competitive edge in the next game while still fitting the plays within their football philosophy. Coaches will appreciate how quickly they can find plays and schemes and organize that information so that they can spend more time actually coaching.”