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Bengals hire Justin Rascati, promote Brad Kragthorpe and Jordan Kovacs

The Bengals have made three coaching moves on Zac Taylor’s staff.

NFL: DEC 04 Bengals at Jaguars Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have hired Justin Rascati as the team’s passing game coordinator, promoted Brad Kragthorpe to quarterbacks coach, and promoted Jordan Kovacs to secondary/safeties coach, the team announced Thursday.

The passing game coordinator is a new position on the team’s staff, while Kovacs is taking over the position previously held by Robert Livingston, who’s reportedly becoming the Colorado Buffaloes defensive coordinator. Kragthorpe is filling the position left by Dan Pitcher, who was recently promoted to offensive coordinator.

Rascati comes to Cincinnati from the Minnesota Vikings, where he spent the past two seasons (2022-23) as assistant offensive line coach. He previously served as an offensive quality control coach with the Denver Broncos from 2019-21.

Prior to his NFL coaching career, Rascati spent seven years in assistant roles at the collegiate level. He served as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (2017-18), offensive coordinator at Tennessee Tech University (’16), passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach at the University of Tennessee-Martin (’14-15), and quarterbacks coach at Weber State University (’12-13).

Rascati began his collegiate playing career as a QB at the University of Louisville in 2003, before transferring to James Madison University. He passed for 5912 yards and 51 TDs in three seasons at JMU (2004-06), and in ’04 helped lead the Dukes to a 13-2 record and the program’s first FCS national championship.

Kragthorpe concluded his fifth season on the Bengals’ coaching staff in 2023, and his first in the role of assistant quarterbacks coach. He spent the previous two seasons (2021-22) as assistant wide receivers coach, after serving as offensive assistant from ’19-20.

Kragthorpe spent the 2018 season as an offensive analyst at Louisiana State University, working with an offense that featured Bengals QB Joe Burrow and WR Ja’Marr Chase. He began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant coach at Utah State University (2016-17).

As a player, Kragthorpe spent one season at Idaho State University (2011), then transferred to LSU for his final three years of eligibility. He played in 25 games for the Tigers as a reserve QB and holder on placekicks.

Kovacs concluded his fifth season on the Bengals’ coaching staff in 2023. He spent the past two seasons (2022-23) as assistant linebackers coach, after serving as a defensive quality control coach from ’19-21. Like Kragthorpe, he demonstrated leadership, intelligence and developmental traits that proved valuable on the coaching staff.

Kovacs came to Cincinnati after spending two seasons (2017-18) in coaching roles at the University of Michigan, his alma mater, where his collegiate career began as a walk-on and concluded as an All-Big Ten second-team selection and captain.

Kovacs played in 28 NFL games over three seasons (2013-15) as a safety with the Miami Dolphins. He also spent time on the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad in 2014, and with the Kansas City Chiefs and L.A. Rams during the ’16 preseason.