Darren Sproles, Connor Barwin, and Brent Celek Return to the Eagles*

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

*Not as players, but in assistant and consultant roles, according to the Birds, who put out a press release this afternoon announcing changes to the football operations department:

  • Tom Hunkele – Director of Sports Medicine
  • Ted Rath – Director of Sports Performance
  • Jeremiah Washburn – Director of Player Personnel/Senior Defensive Assistant
  • Connor Barwin – Special Assistant to the General Manager
  • Brent Celek – Personnel Consultant
  • Darren Sproles – Personnel Consultant

The Barwin news had been reported some time ago, that he was going to be involved with the front office in some fashion. Washburn was rumored to be the assistant defensive line coach, but instead ends up with the role of “Director of Player Personnel/Senior Defensive Assistant.” Celek and Sproles get “consultant” gigs, which are always very vague, but those guys were both respected veterans, so surely they’ll provide positive input moving forward.

Here are the bios for Hunkele and Rath:

Tom Hunkele – Director of Sports Medicine

Tom Hunkele joins the Eagles as the team’s director of sports medicine after spending the last 14 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, where he served as the coordinator of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer. In his role with the Vikings, Hunkele assisted in the evaluation and care of all injuries sustained and helped to implement proactive treatment and rehabilitation programs.

This will mark Hunkele’s second stint in Philadelphia, as he worked with the NovaCare Rehabilition staff from 2000-05. During that stretch, Hunkele served as a physical therapist in the offseason and as an assistant to the trainers from the preseason through the end of the season.

In 2019, Hunkele was recognized as the Tim Davey Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year for the NFC. He was also part of a Vikings staff that was honored by their NFL peers as the 2017 Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

A native of Reading, PA, Hunkele graduated from Duquesne University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and remained at the school to earn his master’s in physical therapy while serving as a graduate assistant to the head athletic trainer.

Ted Rath – Director of Sports Performance

Ted Rath has been hired by the Eagles as the team’s director of sports performance and brings 11 years of NFL experience to Philadelphia. Most recently, Rath spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, beginning his stint with the Rams in 2017 as the team’s head strength and conditioning coach before being promoted to director of strength training and performance in 2018.

In 2017, Rath was named the Strength Coach of the Year by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, an award voted on by strength and conditioning coaches around the NFL. That season, according to Football Outsiders, the Rams finished as the healthiest team in the NFL based on adjusted games lost due to injury.

Prior to his time in Los Angeles, Rath spent one season as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins (2016) and seven seasons in the same role with the Detroit Lions (2009-15).

Rath played linebacker at the University of Toledo from 2003-06 and went on to serve as the assistant director of strength and conditioning at his alma mater in 2008 before entering the NFL.

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