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Rams Fill Final Coaching Vacancy

January 12, 2001

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Coach Mike Martz has his new staff in place just 10 days after firing four of his St. Louis Rams assistants.

The Rams said Friday that Martz hired Ron Meeks as defensive backs coach. Meeks has been an NFL assistant for the past 10 seasons with Dallas, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Washington.

On Jan. 2, three days after the Rams were eliminated from the playoffs, Martz fired defensive coordinator Peter Giunta, two defensive assistants and his special teams coach.

Since then, Martz has hired Meeks, Tampa Bay linebackers coach Lovie Smith as defensive coordinator, Bobby April as special teams coach, and former Atlanta assistant Bill Kollar as defensive line coach. April was out of football last season after coaching New Orleans’ special teams from 1996-99.

Martz interviewed Meeks on Thursday at Rams Park. He had planned to interview at least two or three other candidates, but apparently offered Meeks the job on the spot.

``I’ve researched Ron very, very hard,″ Martz said. ``He’s got a great work ethic. He’s a great teacher. He’s not hard on the players, but he’s very demanding. And those are the things that we need.″

Meeks was fired last week, after Marty Schottenheimer became head coach of the Washington Redskins.

Meeks has helped develop several cornerbacks, including Ashley Ambrose in Cincinnati, Ray Buchanan in Atlanta and Champ Bailey in Washington.

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