North Texas is planning to hire Phil Bennett as its defensive coordinator, sources told FootballScoop on Saturday. The hire is not complete as of this time and is still pending standard human-resources processing.
Bennett is a veteran of many defensive staffs, particularly in Texas. The Marshall, Texas, native's career began at Texas A&M as his alma mater's defensive ends coach. He has since coordinated defenses for Iowa State, Purdue, LSU, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Baylor and Arizona State. He also spent 2002-07 as the head coach at SMU.
Bennett's 6-year run at Baylor came under Art Briles, when the Bears rose from Big 12 doormat to back-to-back conference champions in 2013-14. Bennett was blown out along with the rest of the staff following the campus-wide sexual assault scandal and quickly found work at Arizona State, but has not coached in the past three seasons.
For North Texas, Bennett's experience and expertise are needed after a season in which the Mean Green allowed 42.8 points per game under coordinator Clint Bowen.
The Mean Green finished 2020 ranked 125th in scoring defense and 123rd in yards per play, surrendering 6.94 yards a snap.
Assuming the hire is completed, Bennett would become the Mean Green's sixth defensive coordinator in six seasons and under Seth Littrell. He'd be the club's third coordinator over the past three seasons.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.