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Sources: Houston making a change at defensive coordinator

Joe Cauthen will not return as Houston's defensive coordinator, sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday.

Cauthen was in his second season as the Cougars' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He coordinated Arkansas State's defense for five seasons prior to that.

To fill his coordinator role, sources said Dana Holgorsen will appoint Doug Belk to defensive coordinator. Belk is Houston's associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach.

Belk is a fast-riser in the coaching profession. The 2010 Carson-Newman graduate spent his first three seasons in the business at Valdosta State, then parlayed that into a GA spot at Alabama, helping the Crimson Tide's cornerbacks from 2014-16. That stint landed him the cornerbacks job on Holgorsen's West Virginia staff; Belk then joined Holgorsen at Houston. This marks his second promotion in as many years as a Cougars assistant.

Belk was a target for SEC defensive backs openings prior to the promotion, sources said.

Houston has the highest-paid staff in the Group of 5, paying $3.8 million to Holgorsen and $3.6 million to his staff. The Cougars have gone 7-13 in Holgorsen's two seasons, recording a 4-8 mark in 2019 and then a 3-5 record this fall.

Houston ranked 72nd in yards per play and 80th in scoring defense in 2020, permitting 32.1 points per game.

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