The New Orleans Saints have hired former Cowboys coordinator Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator to implement the Saints' new 3-4 scheme and to replace the fired Steve Spagnuolo. The team made an official announcement Saturday morning.

Saints Coach Sean Payton interviewed Ryan for the job on Friday in New Orleans. Ryan has been a defensive coordinator for three teams in the last nine seasons -- Dallas, Cleveland and Oakland. In a bit of a surprise move, the Cowboys fired Ryan after in early January after only two years with the Cowboys.

Ryan is the fourth defensive coordinator Payton has hired since coming to New Orleans in 2006 with the others being Gary Gibbs, Gregg Williams and Spagnuolo.

The Saints have also hired Stan Kwan as their new assistant special teams coach to replace Mike Mallory, who left this offseason to become the special teams coordinator in Jacksonville.

"I'm pleased the opportunity has presented itself for us to be able to add both Rob Ryan and Stan Kwan to our coaching staff," Payton said in a statement. "In regards to Rob, we have experience in preparing and playing against his defenses and they've always been challenging in terms of the different looks and pressures that they feature. We've had the chance to visit with each other and talk about our visions for our team and I'm excited about moving forward as we prepare for the 2013 season. Rob is enthusiastic about joining our team and getting right to work. Stan is a veteran coach that understands all nuances of the special teams games and will work closely with Greg McMahon. He has a wealth of knowledge and I believe he will be a good fit on our staff."