We pretty much already knew, but the news has been made official by Kentucky today. UK announced that DJ Eliot will indeed be their new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach next season via a press release. In UK’s release, Mark Stoops described Eliot as “one of the brightest young minds in college football.” Stoops also said that he has “relentless work ethic and is extremely detailed. I’m very pleased he has joined the Big Blue Nation.”
Eliot is in his 15th year of coaching, recently wrapping up his third season at Florida State. Here are a few more details from UK’s release:
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.
Eliot and Stoops first became acquainted at Wyoming, where Stoops coached the defensive backs while Eliot played linebacker for the Cowboys. The two coached together at Wyoming as Eliot was a graduate assistant for his alma mater in 1999.
The two continued to work together in 2000 when Stoops joined the staff at the University of Houston as the co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach and Eliot worked as a graduate assistant for the Cougars. Eliot remained at Houston through 2001 before rejoining Stoops in 2002 at Miami (Fla.) in his final season as a graduate assistant. The two helped lead the Canes to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.
“I’m very excited with the opportunity to coach at Kentucky and continue to work with Coach Stoops,” Eliot said. “I believe in the potential of UK and look forward to being on this staff.”
A native of Edmond, Okla., Eliot graduated from Wyoming in 1999 with a degree in natural science with a minor in zoology. He earned a master’s degree in education at Houston. He and his wife, Miekel, have one son, Dawson, and two daughters, Drue and Page.
Welcome to the Big Blue Nation, officially.