Kentucky Football: Mark Stoops Set to Fill Defensive Coaching Vacancies

News broke on January 18, that Kentucky Football Defensive Coordinatorr D.J. Eliot was leaving his position and taking over the same role at The University of Colorado.

Kentucky Football finished the 2016 season with a 7-6 record and a birth in the TaxSlayer Bowl. Mark Stoops and company have done their work and recruited the best players possible during this rebuilding period. Some aspects of the team, mainly coaching departures is a sign of good things. Coaches come and go just as players do. Kentucky has had a few coaches leave other schools for promotional reasons. Neal Brown, Any Buh, and now D.J. Eliot and Jimmy Brumbagh have all left for better positions with different teams. Mark Stoops has always been a defensive minded coach since his days at Florida State as the Defensive Coordinator. It looks like the Youngstown, Ohio native is set to hire new coaches to fill the void in the defensive film room.

A string of coaching departures recently includes D.J. Eliot leaving to take over the same role at Colorado. It is also to be noted that defensive line coach, Jimmy Brumbaugh departed to take a job at The University of Maryland. Brumbaugh will upgrade his position to become the Co-Defensive Coordinator as well as the Defensive Line Coach for the Terrapins.

In “House”

Kentucky filled the Defensive Coordinator position with the hiring of Coach Matt House. House, the Wildcat’s outside linebackers, and special teams coordinator, was promoted to defensive coordinator. The hiring of Matt House, and the departure of Brumbaugh left Coach Stoops to fill those defensive coaching positions. The Cats were now in search of a new defensive line coach, and special teams/OLBs coach. A solution may have been reached.

Kentucky Ties

Joe Mussatto at SEC Country broke the silence with speculation of the hiring of Dean Hood as the new OLB/Special Teams Coordinator. Hood was the Head Coach of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels for eight seasons. Hood will be a great addition to the staff. The Ohio native adds to the coaching connection in the Buckeye State.

As Kentucky Football fans know, recruiting the Ohio region is the “home base” and a hot bed for Kentucky commitments in during the Stoops campaign. Dean Hood has Power 5 coaching experience as well after serving as the Defensive Coordinator at Wake Forest from 2001-2007.

Defensive Line

With Jimmy Brumbaugh at the helm of Mark Stoops’ defensive line, the Cats have made some improvements. The defensive line at Kentucky has been both a strength and a weakness at times. In 2016, the Cats couldn’t provide much depth at the position but had great productivity. Having the Brumbaugh departure happen after National Signing Day might have helped the 2017 Class. Some might wonder if he waited until all of the letters of intent were official before breaking the news.

Mark Stoops looks like he will be set to hire Derrick LeBlanc as the new defensive line coach. LeBlanc last coached the defensive line at The University of North Texas. The reported new hire would have some Kentucky connections. Derrick LeBlanc spent time at Pearl River Community College which is the Junior College that produced current Wildcat defensive lineman Alvonte Bell. Leblanc has also spent time at LSU, Wyoming, and Southern Miss. The Wildcats open the 2017 season against Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2017.

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