• UK Football

    D.J. Eliot Named UK's Defensive Coordinator

    D.J. Eliot, who played a key role in the dramatic defensive turnaround at Florida State under Mark Stoops, has joined Stoops' Kentucky staff as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, the new UK head coach announced Thursday.

    "D.J. is one of the brightest young minds in college football," said Stoops, who has coached with Eliot at Wyoming, Houston, Miami (Fla.) and FSU. "He has a relentless work ethic and is extremely detailed. I'm very pleased he has joined the Big Blue Nation."

    Eliot coached defensive ends the last three seasons at Florida State. He recently completed his 15th season of collegiate coaching, helping lead FSU to one of the best defensive campaigns in school history en route to an 11-2 record, the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference and a berth in the 2013 Orange Bowl.

    The year before Eliot and Stoops arrived in Tallahassee, the Seminoles ranked 108th in total defense and rushing defense, 58th in quarterback sacks and 61st in tackles for loss nationally. This season, FSU ranks second nationally in total defense (253.8 yards per game), fifth in rushing defense (93 ypg) and seventh in scoring defense (15.1 points per game). In each of Eliot's first two years on the job, FSU ranked among the nation's top 10 teams in sacks and the top 25 in tackles for loss.

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    1. WildcatRick's Avatar
      WildcatRick -
      Coach Eliot was recruiting as soon as he was announced as DC. This from Kyle Tucker....

      “Yeah, he came in about 10:30 this morning. He said he just got hired at 8:30,” said Franklin County coach Chris Tracy, who believes the gesture was significant. “I think it’s a big one. I could just tell by (Timmons’) reaction when I told him, he felt good that this was his first stop.”

      Tracy said Eliot was headed next to Louisville, home of six of the top 10 recruits in the state, according to Rivals.com’s rankings. The top uncommitted player is Trinity wide receiver James Quick. Tracy believes the Wildcats’ new staff, led by head coach Mark Stoops, will be well received around the state.

      “(Eliot) seemed like a really good guy,” Tracy said. “And the one thing with Coach Stoops that I think will go a long way with everybody in the state is that he sought this job out. They didn’t have to beg him to take it, throw all this money at him. He wanted it. And man, they’ve got a plan to get it where they want it for championship football. I think if they’re supported and they get the kids they want to get, I think it’s doable.”

      That last part could start with Timmons. Tracy said Eliot wants to set up an official visit for the explosive wide receiver who also takes direct snaps and returns kicks. Tracy believes UK is working on a major recruiting event to get several top prospects on campus together.