|Position:||Assistant Coach/Offensive Line|
|Alma Mater:||Wittenberg University '92|
Jim Bridge joined the staff in January of 2016 and serves as an assistant coach, mentoring the offensive line. Bridge spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons overseeing the team’s tight ends while coordinating Duke’s special teams units.
After making the full-time transition to offensive line in 2018, Bridge revamped the unit and helped the group provide pass protection for a Duke aerial attack that featured 31 touchdown passes, setting the program single-season record.
The offensive line allowed Duke to close the year as one of four ACC teams to compile 2,000 or more rushing yards and 3,100 or more passing yards, joining Clemson, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. The line surrendered an average of 5.85 tackles for loss per game, nearly one fewer per contest than the squad surrendered in 2017 (6.69).
The improvements made along the offensive line helped the Blue Devils produce 382 points, the fourth most in a year in program history, as the offense totaled 40 or more points in five games, tied with the 1943 and 2014 squads for the most in a campaign in program history. Bridge’s unit also assisted in producing three 200-200 outings as the Blue Devils posted 200 or more rushing and 200 or more passing yards versus N.C. Central, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.
In 2017, Duke boasted three tight ends — Davis Koppenhaver (3), Noah Gray (2) and Daniel Helm (2) — with multiple receiving touchdowns on the season. Helm and Koppenhaver were critical pieces in the passing attack, hauling in 22 and 17 passes, respectively. On the special teams front, Duke ranked among the ACC’s top five in field goals (t3rd), kickoff coverage (4th), field goal percentage (4th) and kickoff returns (5th).
Following the regular season, Bridge transitioned to coaching the Duke offensive line in preparation for the Quick Lane Bowl matchup against Northern Illinois. In the 36-14 victory over the Huskies, the offensive front committed zero penalties and paved the way for 465 yards of total offense as quarterback Daniel Jones, the game’s Most Valuable Player, threw for 252 yards and two scores while the rushing attack produced 213 ground yards and single scoring runs by Jones, Brittain Brown and Shaun Wilson.
In 2016, Bridge helped Duke tight ends Erich Schneider (30-269-3), Helm (21-235-2) and Koppenhaver (17-157-2) combine for 68 receptions, 661 yards and seven touchdowns. Schneider finished third on the squad with 30 catches while his three touchdowns tied for the squad lead, becoming the first tight end to top the Blue Devils in scoring receptions since Andy Roland in 2004. Koppenhaver provided the game-winning points against No. 15 North Carolina, hauling in a Jones third-down pass from two yards out in the third quarter as Duke posted a 28-27 victory, while Helm brought in two touchdown passes at Georgia Tech. Of Jones’ final 11 touchdown passes during the year, five were thrown to tight ends. Schneider and Helm combined to give Duke the fifth most receptions by a Blue Devil tight end duo in a season with 51.
On special teams, Bridge’s unit finished third in the ACC in kickoff return average (24.55), despite three-time All-America kickoff returner DeVon Edwards suffering a career-ending injury during the fourth game of the season. In Edwards’ place, Shaun Wilson averaged 24.97 yards per return, the fourth-best mark in the league. Duke’s kickoff return defense also ranked fourth in the league (18.67) while punt returner Ryan Smith finished tied for fifth in the ACC with 20 runbacks and seventh in average, 8.90.
Bridge joined the Duke staff following three seasons (2013-14-15) as the offensive line coach at Purdue University.
Prior to his stint at Purdue, Bridge spent six seasons (2007-08-09-10-11-12) on the coaching staff at N.C. State, where he helped the Wolfpack to a 40-35 overall record with four bowl game appearances (2008 Papajohns.com, 2010 Champs Sports, 2011 Belk and 2012 Music City). Bridge coached the Wolfpack tight ends in his first four seasons in Raleigh before transitioning to the offensive line for his final two campaigns. He mentored four All-ACC selections during his tenure, including tight end George Bryan (2009-10), guard R.J. Mattes (2012) and center Camden Wentz (2012).
As an assistant coach mentoring the tight ends, Bridge served four seasons (2003-04-05-06) on the staff at Boston College as the Eagles compiled an overall ledger of 36-14 with four straight bowl game berths (2003 Diamond Walnut San Francisco, 2004 Continental Tire, 2005 MPC Computers and 2006 Meineke Car Care). In addition, Boston College finished all four years ranked in the final Associated Press national poll with rankings of No. 21 in 2004, No. 18 in 2005, No. 20 in 2006 and No. 10 in 2007.
Bridge also spent time on the staffs at Bowling Green (1992-93 [Graduate assistant coach]; 2000 [Assistant coach/TE]), Virginia (1994-95 [Graduate assistant coach]), The Citadel (1996-97-98-99 [Assistant coach/OL]), Ohio State (2001 [Graduate assistant coach]) and Eastern Michigan (2002 [Assistant coach/OL]).
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Bridge lettered as a tight end at Wittenberg University before graduating in 1992 and later earned a master’s degree from Bowling Green in sports administration in 1994. He is married to the former Andrea Bitterman of Buffalo, N.Y., and the couple has four children: Anna Claire, Ryan, Maggie and Jack.