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Miami finalizes defensive staff changes for 2021

Miami on Thursday finalized a number of defensive staff changes heading into the 2021 season.

Jess Simpson has been announced as defensive line coach and DeMarcus Van Dyke as cornerbacks coach. Simpson coached at Miami in 2018 and spent the past two years coaching the Atlanta Falcons' defensive line.

Van Dyke, a former Hurricanes cornerback, is swapping roles with Mike Rumph, also a former Hurricanes cornerback. Van Dyke was Miami's assistant director of recruiting prior to the promotion, and Rumph will remain on staff in UM's recruiting department.

Former defensive line coach Todd Stroud will also remain on staff as a senior football advisor.

The addition of Simpson and Van Dyke finalize a staff that also saw former South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson come aboard as defensive backs coach. Co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Ephraim Banda left to become the defensive coordinator at Utah State.

“We are excited to announce these staff hires as we work to improve all facets of our program on and off the field,” Diaz said. “Jess is a proven defensive line coach at all levels who had great success with our defensive line in 2018 and we are thrilled to have him back at UM. DeMarcus is eager to take the next step in his coaching career and work in tandem with Travaris with our defensive backs."

Additionally, Diaz announced Blake Baker will return as defensive coordinator/outside linebackers coach (Jonathan Patke also returns as ILBs/special teams coordinator), but Diaz will call plays on game days.

"We feel (this) is our best path to maximizing our strengths on that side of the ball," Diaz said.

2021 Miami defensive staff
Manny Diaz: Head coach/play caller
Blake Baker: Defensive coordinator/outside linebackers
Jonathan Patke: Inside linebackers/special teams coordinator
Travaris Robinson: Defensive backs
Jess Simpson: Defensive line
DeMarcus Van Dyke: Cornerbacks

Following four consecutive seasons in the top 12, Miami finished 57th nationally at 5.59 yards per play allowed in 2020.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.