January 24, 2013
We started a series of looking at Kentucky's coaching carousel yesterday by examining all the moves associated with the Wildcats' offensive coordinator change. Today, it only makes sense that we move on to the defensive coordinator spot.
Surprisingly, there were a lot of parallels with the two coordinator spots. Each carousel involved Florida State (but in different directions), along with Tennessee, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M.
2012 coach: Rick Minter (2nd season)
2013 coach: DJ Eliot
Hire announced: Dec. 6, 2012
Where Eliot came from: Defensive ends coach, Florida State (3 seasons)
The Carousel: When Eliot left for UK, FSU made a splashy hire and picked up Sal Sunseri, who spent 2012 as defensive coordinator at Tennessee. He'll be DEs coach there. If you remember, the offensive coordinator spot at Kentucky was also linked to the offensive coordinator spot in Knoxville, through the carousel. Like with his OC spot, Butch Jones brought his DC from Cincinnati: John Jancek is now defensive playcaller for the Vols. Tommy Tuberville, another familiar name from yesterday, brought Art Kaufman to Cincy from Texas Tech. Kliff Kingsbury (yet another familiar name from yesterday) has hired Matt Wallerstedt as his defensive coordinator, though Mike Smith will be co-defensive coordinator. Wallerstedt was linebackers coach at Texas A&M. Just like yesterday with Kingsbury, the trail ends there. Kevin Sumlin hasn't announced a replacement for linebackers coach yet.
The Carousel: Mike Caldwell had been the linebackers coach for the Eagles under Andy Reid, before Chip Kelly took over. It doesn't look like Caldwell has found a new gig yet, so the trail goes cold here.
Total coaches involved: 7
Total schools/teams involved: 6 schools, 1 NFL team