Carl enters his second season as the club’s defensive line coach following a long and successful 30-year coaching and playing career in the NFL.
Last season, Carl’s defensive linemen helped the club to a CFL-best 47 sacks and featured Keron Williams who led the league with 12 and earned a spot on the CFL All-Star squad. In addition to working with eight different players that would make starts or see significant playing time during the 2012 campaign, Carl was instrumental in the development of West Division Most Outstanding Rookie Jabar Westerman.
Born in Martinsville, Virginia, Carl attended the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore where he was a four-year starter, a three-time All-Conference selection and a member of the school’s basketball team for one season. He wrapped up his degree in Physical Education in 1985 and was inducted into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2005.
Carl began his pro career as a seventh-round selection of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976. During his eight seasons as a starter he captained the Eagles defence from 1979-1983 and recorded 100 or more tackles in five straight seasons (’77-’81). He also led the NFC in sacks with 15 in 1979 and started Super Bowl XV versus Oakland in 1981.
Following his time in Philadelphia, Carl signed with the Cleveland Browns in 1984 where he patrolled the defensive line for another six seasons (1984-1989) as well as one final campaign in Phoenix with the Cardinals in 1990. Through 15 seasons as a player, Carl appeared in 224 games (starting 184 times), notching 94 sacks and 1,141 tackles.
Beginning his post-playing career as a college scout with the Phoenix Cardinals in 1991, Carl moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs as a pro scout in 1994. In 1995, he joined the coaching staff of the Chiefs in charge of the team’s defensive line, a position he held through the 1996 campaign. In his first season as a position coach, the Chiefs racked up 47 sacks and produced two Pro Bowl performers.
In 1997, Hairston was reunited with his first pro coach, Dick Vermeil after joining the staff of the St. Louis Rams where he would remain for four seasons including the club’s memorable Super Bowl win over Tennessee in 2000. In 2001, Carl returned to Kansas City where he guided the team’s defensive line through the 2005 season. In 2006, he joined the staff of the Green Bay Packers where he tutored the team’s defensive ends for three seasons. In 2009, he moved to the UFL’s Florida Tuskers and eventually to the Omaha Night Hawks and Sacramento Mountain Lions where he coached through the 2010 and 2011 campaigns.
Carl and his wife Cindy reside in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He has two grown children, Carl Jr. and Crystal.