There are reports out tonight that D.J. Eliot has accepted Mark Stoops’ offer to be Kentucky’s defensive coordinator. Let’s take a minute to get to know the coach they call “D.J.”:
DARIN “DJ” ELIOT
Birthdate: August 14, 1976
Hometown: Edmond, Oklahoma
Family: wife, Miekel; son, Dawson; daughters, Drue and Page
Played college at: Wyoming (Class of ’99)
1998-1999: Wyoming (Student assistant, Graduate assistant)
2000-2001: Houston (Graduate assistant)
2002: Miami (Graduate assistant)
2003: Texas State (Defensive Backs Coach)
2004-2005: Texas State (Linebackers Coach)
2006: Tulsa (Linebackers Coach)
2007-2009: Rice (Recruiting Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach)
2010-2012: Florida State (Defensive Ends Coach)
What got him the job:
Eliot was on Stoops’ defensive staff at Florida State, so naturally the two share many defensive philosophies. They worked together at Miami while Eliot was a graduate assistant and Stoops the secondary coach, and the two formed a good relationship. So good that when Stoops got the Defensive Coordinator job at Florida State in 2010, he recommended Eliot, who was currently the recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach at Rice.
Eliot played a key role in turning FSU’s defense from being one of the worst units in the country to one of the best. Under his tutelage, Florida State’s Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine became one of the top defensive end trios in 2011, combining for 20.5 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hurries and nine pass breakups. Last season, the Noles ranked among the top 10 national leaders in both sacks and tackles for loss, and Eliot’s defensive ends accounted for 51 percent of the team’s sacks and 36 percent of the tackles for loss.
At only 36, Eliot is considered a rising star in the business with excellent recruiting skills. At Rice, he was able to bring in considerable talent despite the schools’ strict academic requirements. In 2008, he developed two true freshman ends, Scott Solomon and Cheta Ozougwu, that combined for 124 tackles to lead all C-USA defensive lineman. They also combined for 24 tackles-for-loss and 11 sacks to help Rice to a 10-win season.
In his own words:
Go check out Eliot’s introductory press conference at Florida State back in 2010 here.
Twitter profile: @CoachEliot
Eliot can’t compare to his former coworker James Coley when it comes to Twitter, but like Coley, he loves all-caps, multiple exclamation marks, and intense thoughts. Here are just a few:
STILL GOING GO NOLES!!
— DJ Eliot (@CoachEliot) January 19, 2011
Sitting in the office like a caged animal. Be back on the road next week.
— DJ Eliot (@CoachEliot) May 3, 2010
No his dad’s
— DJ Eliot (@CoachEliot) May 26, 2010
TWEET, TWEET. SEMINOLE NATION in full affect!!!!!!!
— DJ Eliot (@CoachEliot) May 8, 2010
Fun Fact: His major at Wyoming was natural science and his minor was zoology. He is also easy on the eyes. Rarrrgh.
Welcome aboard, DJ.