Skip to main content

Defensive Coordinator Tracker: A look at the FBS defensive coordinator openings

We already track the hires of the new coaches around college football via our Staff Tracker, but with all the coordinator and position coaching changes in the coaching profession every off season, we wanted to provide a place to go to track those as well.

Here, we will share the openings and hirings of new defensive coordinators, covering both the hires for new head coaches, and established head coaching hiring replacements.

Some of the top tier defensive coordinator jobs open right now include Auburn, LSU, Texas, Oregon, and Michigan.

Top tier and veteran defensive coordinators coaches currently on the market include Will Muschamp, Don Brown, Kevin Steele, Derek Mason, and Chris Ash.

Current count of defensive coordinator changes: 28

There were 44 total defensive coordinator changes following last season.

Note: This page will be updated frequently; but as always, check The Scoop for the latest movement of the day.


2019 COACH

2020 COACH

Paul Rhoades

Don Brown

Context: Head coaching change. We reported back in later December that Brown was the target of Jedd Fisch, and on January 7th Pete Thamel reported that Brown had finalized his deal with Arizona.

David Duggan

Rob Harley

Context: Head coaching change. Pitt linebackers coach Rob Harley was tabbed by Butch Jones to be the new Red Wolves defensive coordinator

Kevin Steele

Derek Mason

Context: Head coaching change. Former Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason was brought in to replace Kevin Steele as defensive coordinator.

Jeff Schmedding / Spencer Danielson

Spencer Danielson

Context: Head coaching change. New head coach Andy Avalos decided to retain Danielson

Context: DeRuyter left Cal to become the defensive coordinator at Oregon.

Marcus Freeman

Mike Tressel

Context: After being courted by a number of programs, Notre Dame ultimately landed Freeman as their next defensive coordinator. Michigan State assistant (and former Spartan defensive coordinator and interim head coach) Mike Tressel reportedly accepted the defensive coordinator job in mid-January.

Tyson Summers

Chris Wilson

Context: A report emerged January 12th that head coach Karl Dorrell was moving in a new direction with the defense and that Tyson Summers was being let go after two seasons. Defensive line coach Chris Wilson was promoted to the post in late January.

Lovie Smith

Ryan Walters (via Missouri)

Context: Head coaching change. Late in the 2019 season, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson resigned and Lovie Smith largely handled the defensive play calling duties in 2020. Ryan Walters, the defensive coordinator at Missouri, was hired to come in and call the defense for Bret Bielema.

Kane Wommack

Charlton Warren

Context: Wommack left to take the head coaching job at South Alabama. Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren was chosen as the team's next defensive coordinator, per multiple reports January 17th.

Bo Pelini

Daronte Jones

Context: First-year defensive coordinator Bo Pelini was part of a large staff shakeup at LSU. Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones, who previously worked under Dave Aranda, was hired after an exhaustive search that had many twists and turns.

Mike Collins

Zac Alley

Context: Head coaching change. Ten days prior to the season opener against Army, Mike Collins resigned heading into his fifth season with the program. Boise State outside linebackers coach / co-special teams coordinator Zac Alley was tabbed to call the defense under Terry Bowden, per sources.

Brad Lambert

Lance Guidry

Context: After being a finalist for the head coaching job that went to Charles Huff, Lambert left to become the co-defensive coordinator at Purdue. FAU safeties coach Lance Guidry accepted the role on Huff's staff shortly thereafter.

Context: A report shared on January 26th that defensive coordinator Jon Hoke was leaving the Terps to return to the NFL.

Don Brown

Mike MacDonald

Context: Don Brown was let go after six seasons (five of them when his defense ranked in the top 10 nationally) in late December. Ravens linebackers coach Mike MacDonald was announced as the team's new defensive coordinator in Ann Arbor following their playoff loss.

Ryan Walters

Steve Wilks

Context: Ryan Walters left to become the defensive coordinator for Bret Bielema at Illinois. The move became official on January 7th. Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks was hired as Drink's new defensive coordinator.

Clint Bowen

Phil Bennett

Context: After one season, the school announced that Clint Bowen was let go on January 1st. Former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett is set to become the sixth defensive coordinator for Seth Littrell in as many seasons.

Clark Lea

Marcus Freeman

Context: Lea left for the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Freeman was originally thought to be headed to LSU, before the Irish made a late charge to bring him to South Bend.

Context: Andy Avalos left to become the head coach at Boise State. Cal defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter was hired to replace him FootballScoop learned and shared on January 22nd.

Bob Diaco

Brad Lambert (co-defensive coordinator)

Context: Bob Diaco was let go after one season back on December 18th. Diaco also worked with the team's linebackers. Marshall defensive coordinator Brad Lambert was named the team's new co-defensive coordinator in mid-January to work alongside Anthony Poindexter.

Greg Stewart

Context: Head coaching change.

Travaris Robinson

Clayton White

Context: Head coaching change. On January 9th, a report shared that Western Kentucky defensive coordinator Clayton White was finalizing a deal to join Shane Beamer's staff.

Tony Pecoraro

Austin Armstrong

Context: Head coaching change. Armstrong joined the staff after serving as the inside linebackers coach at ULL during the 2020 season.

Context: Head coaching change. Pete Kwiatkowski was hired away from Washington to be Sark's new defensive coordinator

Frank Maile & Stacy Collins

Ephraim Banda

Context: Head coaching change. Ephraim Banda was added from the Miami staff.

Context: Dana Dimel announced a change at both his coordinator spots. SEC veteran assistant Bradley Dale Peveto will be the team's new defensive coordinator, we learned in mid-January.

Ted Roof

Jesse Minter

Context: Head coaching change. We shared on January 19th that Clark Lea plans to hire Baltimore Ravens defensive backs coach Jesse Minter as his defensive coordinator, per Pete Thamel's tweet. Minter previously served as defensive coordinator at Georgia State.

Context: Kwiatkowski left to become the defensive coordinator at Texas. Inside linebackers coach Bob Gregory was given the nod to defensive coordinator in early February.

Clayton White

Maurice Crum

Context: White has reportedly left to become the defensive coordinator at South Carolina. Crum was elevated to defensive coordinator after serving as co-defensive coordinator the past two seasons.