Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire is targeting Patrick Toney to be his defensive coordinator in Lubbock, sources told FootballScoop on Thursday.
McGuire and Toney have never worked together, but they share an important connection in Ron Roberts.
Toney, 31, worked alongside Roberts at Southeastern Louisiana and Louisiana-Lafayette. Coaching safeties and special teams under head coach Roberts, Toney was part of a staff that turned the 3-8 Lions into a team that went 20-7 with back-to-back FCS playoffs appearances in 2013-14. His units first in the FCS in pass efficiency defense, second in interceptions, fifth in red zone defense, seventh in total defense and eighth in scoring defense, and his special teams topped the nation in kickoff return average, sixth in blocked kicks and 13th in kickoff return defense. Toney worked closely with (now Alabama) defensive coordinator Pete Golding while at Southeastern.
Following Southeastern Louisiana, Toney spent time coaching safeties at Sam Houston and then joining back up with Golding a tUTSA, where multiple players earned all-conference honors.
When Roberts landed the defensive coordinator job on Billy Napier's staff at ULL, Toney came along as safeties coach, and when Roberts left to coordinate Dave Aranda's defense at Baylor, Toney was promoted to defensive coordinator.
“He’s always learning," Napier said of Toney earlier this season. "I love coming to work every day knowing we’ve got one of the bright, young, up-and-coming football minds in our building. I think we’re all going to be telling stories about ole ‘PT’ one day.
“He’s exceptional. We’re certainly proud to have him.”
McGuire coached outside linebackers under Roberts at Baylor before landing the Texas Tech job.
There are many complicating factors standing between Toney and a possible deal with Texas Tech.
If Napier lands a Power 5 job in the coming weeks, Toney could be in line to follow his boss, or to potentially replace him in Lafayette, or he could garner further interest from Power 5 head coaches.
In the meantime, Toney has 9-1 Louisiana's defense gunning for the program's first Sun Belt title game victory. The Ragin' Cajuns visit Liberty on Saturday, close the regular season with rival ULM, and then host the East champion in the title game on Dec. 4.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.