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Sources: SMU planning to hire defensive coordinator away from Conference USA school

Jim Leavitt is expected to be the next defensive coordinator at SMU, sources confirmed to FootballScoop. Yahoo's Pete Thamel first reported the news.

Leavitt spent this past season running the defense at Florida Atlantic, where the Owls finished 25th in yards per play in one season under his direction, up from 42nd in 2019.

Leavitt was an analyst at Florida State in 2019, and prior to that was the defensive coordinator at Colorado in 2015-16 and at Oregon in 2017-18. Leavitt was the head coach at South Florida from 1997-09.

In taking the SMU job, Leavitt becomes the second Owls assistant to leave for a defensive coordinator job this month. Safeties coach Lance Guidry is now the defensive coordinator on Charles Huff's new Marshall staff.

SMU's defensive coordinator job came open when Kevin Kane became the associate head coach and outside linebackers coach at Illinois.

The Mustangs finished 63rd in yards per play this past season; the program has not ranked among the top 50 yards per play defenses since 2012, when they were 49th.

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