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Need to Know: Dirk Koetter

According to Matt, there’s a new name on the UK coaching search radar: Dirk Koetter. Let’s get to know a little about the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator:


Age: 53

Hometown: Pocatello, Idaho

Current job: Offensive coordinator, Atlanta Falcons

Job History:
2012-present: Atlanta Falcons (Offensive Coordinator)
2011: Jacksonville Jaguars (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach)
2007-2011: Jacksonville Jaguars (Offensive Coordinator)
2001-2006: Arizona State
1998-2000: Boise State
1996-1997: Oregon (Offensive Coordinator)
1994-1995: Boston College (Offensive Coordinator)
1989-1993: Missouri (Offensive Coordinator)
1986-1988: UTEP (Offensive Coordinator)
1985: San Francisco State (Offensive Coordinator)

College head coaching record:
Arizona State: 40-34, led the Sun Devils to four bowl games
Boise State: 26-10, back-to-back bowl games

– Known for expertise in the passing game, believes in maximizing the talents of his top playmakers
– In his first year as the Falcons’ OC, has helped lead Atlanta to a 9-1 record
– Has helped Matt Ryan evolve into one of the premiere quarterbacks in the league
– At Arizona State, helped the Sun Devils average nearly 30 points per game over six seasons and the team was ranked in the top 20 in the nation in passing offense in five of his six seasons
– In 2005, the Sun Devils finished second in the nation in total offense, averaging 519.1 yards per game and third in the nation with 373.4 passing yards per game.
– At Boise State, was a two-time Big West Coach of the Year honoree and two-time conference champion

Quotes on Dirk:
Matt Ryan on Koetter’s first season as OC: “A lot of the offense has stayed the same. I think that’s one of the things that’s helped us. Dirk came in and changed a lot of his terminology to the terminology we’ve had. I think that’s helped everyone in the transition. I think he has brought some different elements to our offense. He’s done a great job with the vertical passing and also helped us in terms of screens.”

Falcons coach Mike Smith: “He is bright, he understands the intricacies of the vertical passing game, but he also wants to be able to run the football which is very important in the NFL.”

Rumor has it: According to, is a likely candidate for several NFL head coaching jobs.

Fun quotes:
On rewarding role players: “You can’t be afraid to feed your stud.”

Welcome, Koetter?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

73 Comments for Need to Know: Dirk Koetter

  1. Jeff Garlin
    12:19 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This would be a great hire!

  2. ltylerj
    12:22 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Do it Mitch!

  3. Wildcat3331
    12:23 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Probably the only viable option that fits in the category of “home run hire”

  4. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    12:23 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Out of our league….

  5. Han
    12:24 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    His winning percentage as a head coach isn’t inspiring, and outside of this year at Atlanta, are we supposed to be blown away by what he did at Jacksonville? He’d need a very good defensive coordinator since his experience is all on the other side of the ball.

    The Petrino-lovers would have a field day of rage if someone like this guy is hired.

  6. Owen
    12:25 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I would definitely like the hire but it seems to me like he wants to be an NFL guy at this point in his career and would go that route if given an opportunity to.

  7. Pappa D Nutts
    12:25 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    It looks like Mitch is going with the safe hire (What a surprise), I hope Auburn or UT hires BP, so in a couple of years from now Mitch can see what an opportunity he had and [email protected] it up, does anyone know if the guy can recruit in the south and his last couple of years recruiting rankings and do we have another Derek Dooley or Steve Kragthrope on our hands

  8. macsauce13
    12:26 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Zero head-coaching experience. Joker round 2.

  9. macsauce13
    12:26 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I see I’m mistaken about that. Woops!

  10. Hal
    12:28 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    “you’re not the boss of me. you’re not the king of dirk.”

  11. Jon O
    12:29 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This would be a home run hire! Offer this dude 2 mil a year and give him incentives to reach 3 mil. Such as a 1 mil bonus for going to a BCS Bowl game. And from the looks of things, this would be a perfect offence for Towles to excel in. GET. IT. DONE. MITCH.

  12. Rich
    12:35 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    May be a good hire, but won’t be around for long. Plus, if the NFL rumors are true, he’ll hold out for that offer or stay put.

  13. SteveM
    12:42 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone that thinks he would come to UK is drunk. Way too good for us and Barnhart.

  14. dave
    12:42 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    we’re not getting the OC for a NFL team that just started 8-0, is in top 10 in scoring & yards, & has mvp candidate at QB. guessing he’ll get better offers, if he goes anywhere….

  15. Jon
    12:46 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Some UK fans are idiots. They say this guy this guy is a Dooley or Kragthorpe when I’m willing to bet they don’t even know who the guy is. Newsflash: I bet this guy is out of UK’s league and we couldn’t even get him!

  16. Jerry C
    12:46 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    With all the duds that get NFL HC jobs, I don’t see how he would not get a chance.

  17. Commitment Issues
    12:49 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Lools like a great coach but doesn’t seem to stay anywhere except one stop or more than a year or two. It’s going to take far longer than that to build this program. Question is whether or not he’s willing to stay that long if he was to be offered and accept or will one foot always be out the door?

  18. Richard Brooks Jr
    12:52 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This guy is legit, started the winning @ Boise St, won @ Arizona St, just dont know if he would come to KY, if not go for KINGSBURY!

  19. Jim Town Catfan
    12:53 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Have to admit, dont know anything about this coach. Credentials and experience look impressive. Looks like a solid candidate.
    I have to agree, looks like he might be a career NFL guy, but who knows. Go after this guy.
    I think he is heads and shoulders above a Dolley or Kragthorpe, those comparisons are crazy.

  20. Nate
    12:53 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Why was he fired at Arizona State?

  21. bluebloodtoo
    12:55 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This is a hire that I would endorse. The guy has a great track record and keeps moving up. The question on everyone’s mind is “How commited is UK to getting a great coach and keeping him?” If UK is committed and wants to pay this guy enough to be happy here, then go for it and get the fan base to give him some time to get things going before they start calling for his job.

  22. I Say
    12:57 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    #18 Yes Yes Yes. Kliff Kingsbury is our guy. He farts thunder and shits lightning. He has swagger for days which gives the fans something to get excited about. O and he was also plowing Jessica Simpson (the hot one) at one point.

  23. Cats in the NBA
    12:58 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This would be a really good hire. You had me at “believes in maximizing the talents of his top playmakers.” Too bad he wasn’t around here for the Randall Cobb years.

    That said… he is out of our league and will never come here.

  24. UKBlue
    12:58 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Credentials look legit, only question: can he recruit 2, 3 or 4 star kids?

  25. I
    12:59 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    NO, Leave him in Atlanta with my Falcons!! Get some college experiance coach that has recruiting ties.

  26. best1978
    1:01 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    #8 how is 9 equal to 0?
    #6 the only reason he is in the NFL is because the Sun Devils fired him after a 7-6 season.

    He is the perfect age. He has learned a lot and has another 10 to 15 years of energy left.

  27. Ukalum
    1:02 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I got a coach for you. He was an assistant under urban Meyer when Meyer won his first BCS bowl. He was the defensive coordinator for a team that went 13-0 and beat an Alabama (coached by saban) by two touchdowns in the sugar bowl. Four years ago he took over a program that had 11 consecutive losing seasons and he has lead them to a conference title and a 9-2 record so far with a win over a bcs school. That coach is gary Anderson of utah state. He has his team ranked in the top 40 in almost all major offensive and defensive stats. If uk can’t get the BIG name, he is the best option available.

  28. Nope
    1:08 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    No, we do not need to know Dirk Koetter…bc there is no way in hell he stoops to our level if he is a candidate for any NFL head coaching jobs.

  29. bobbypetrinofan
    1:10 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink


  30. matt ryan good?
    1:10 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Matt Ryan blows. He gets carried like crazy.
    5 interceptions last week and they still win? Might as well be me out there.

  31. Ukalum
    1:10 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Also it’s not like Anderson is barely getting wins in the WAC. The only conference game that has been within a couple of touchdowns was the Louisiana tech game last week. And utah state had more total yards gained than sonny dykes Louisiana tech.

  32. blairato
    1:13 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    25 – I’m with you, Rise Up!

  33. Wildcatsteeler
    1:13 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Just think if he had been our OC when we had Cobb. Instead of letting Cobb carry us all the way down the field then stop using him in the redzone, like Joker did, he’d continue to use him and we would have scored a lot more.

  34. I Am Spartacus
    1:15 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Someone please explain why Matt Jones was calling him K-U-T-T-E-R all morning?

    Is the “N” silent or something?

  35. I Am Spartacus
    1:15 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    My bad!

  36. I Am Spartacus
    1:16 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    34 – WTH are you talking about??????

    (There, I saved you some time)

  37. old man
    1:18 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    As a Falcons fan, I must say STAY IN ATL! With Matt Ryan and 2 of the best receivers in the league, his offense is excelling. As a Kentucky fan, his rushing offense in ATL isn’t exactly blowing it up (they lost to the Saints after having 2nd and goal from the 1 to take the lead in the final minute and couldn’t run it in). Living in Kentucky now, I don’t get to watch many Falcons games, but one thing one of the commentators (maybe Gruden?) said a few weeks ago when ATL was on tv was that he ran a lot of screens. I think UK fans would scream at the idea of more screens being run!!

  38. joe
    1:19 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I really love all the petrino loving idiots around ky. If anyone is mentioned other than petrino, the idiots come out whining and complaining. One guy up there (big idiot by the way), says this is joker round 2 and dont even know anything about the coach. How about this? If you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, SHUT UP! I really don’t think we have a shot at this guy, but it would be a big time hire for sure. I would take him in a second.

  39. Richard Brooks, JR
    1:20 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I would figure a little more support for Kliff Kingsbury, young and can flat out coach & recruit, why not try to make this happen if you are barnhart

  40. TheNewOriginal
    1:23 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    For you people that keep saying coaches are out of our league – How about a nice big cup of STFU? Keep your inferiority complex to yourselves.

  41. Ukalum
    1:24 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart is going to hire kingsbury he is the youngest of all the coaches being consider, has no HC experience and hasn’t been coaching that long.

  42. RUPPS_rhetoric
    1:35 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    8. macsauce13) Why don’t you try reading the article. The dude has 7 years head coaching experience! This would be a good if not great hire. He’s seasoned, had success, head coaching experience. Sign him up!

  43. bbmike
    1:35 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    #8-read before you post.

  44. bbmike
    1:38 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    ps-I wish I had his hair.

  45. RUPPS_rhetoric
    1:39 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry macsauce, didn’t see your retraction. My apologies…

  46. BChunter
    1:39 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    i wouldnt like the hire bc WE need a coach that has coached in the SEC so they have an idea on the kind of players it takes to win.. i would like KIngsbury the only down fall is how long would he stay, i mean if things went good he would prolly head back to TEXas Tech

  47. JLivermore
    1:42 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    #41 – I’ve agreed with all of your comments. You must be a mensa man.

  48. JLivermore
    1:44 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Not sure why Koetter is a “new” name. I’m certain he was mentioned in the very first article I read about prospects.

  49. Punter U
    1:44 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Did you guys read Matt Ryan’s comments about him? “Changes himself to fit the strengths of his players”… isn’t that exactly what Cal does that makes him so good?? Hire him now Mitch!

  50. Assman
    1:45 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Koetter looks good. He’s the son of a coach and has been around football his whole life. He seems to know offense as well as anybody BUT, can he recruit and stress defense as well as offense? Would be interesting watching him coach against Spurrier and maybe Petrino.

  51. Blue Bayou
    1:45 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    40 – You’re right, let’s just talk about all the great coaches we want. How about Nick Saban? GO GET SABAN! Even better, what about Bill Belichick? Get him! Face facts, UK Football is not a dream job for guys on top of the coaching world. Keep daydreaming about ideal coaches and the rest of us will talk about what MIGHT ACTUALLY happen.

    Koetter may have thrown his hat in the ring because he wants to be fought over, but he isn’t coming to Kentucky.

  52. BBN
    1:47 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Is this guy supposed to be the big name NFL guy? No way he’s a home run hire. We need a guy with proven success as a head coach on the college level. Success at a mid major program where he demonstrated the ability to win with less talent. That is the guy we need. BOTTOM LINE — Every day that passes I become more convinced Mitch Barnhat will screw up this hire. Folks, his #1 priority is to find a coach who will go along and not complain about his continued scheme to bleed the majority of football revenue for his Olympic sports.

  53. Brad
    1:48 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone hear Greg Roman’s name as a candidate? His resume looks decent as well.

  54. Jonathan
    1:50 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This wont happen. Why in his right mind would he leave a team that is 9-1 that is possibly going to the Super Bowl to go to a college team that can barely win one game?

  55. bobbypetrinofan
    1:51 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Gee, a little hostile there, Joe? You’e convinced me you’re right

  56. Blue Bayou
    1:53 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    52 – Give me a break. I won’t pretend that Barnhart has done everything right, but if you think he WANTS the football program to continue to be less than mediocre then you’re kidding yourself. Assuming Mitch gets someone currently employed, he can’t hire them not because the season is still ongoing. Every day that passes now without an announced hire doesn’t mean anything, we still have a coach for one more game. After the season ends, the more time that passes the more worried you should be, but there is no reason to think anyone will be announced until after the season.

  57. Just the Facts
    2:03 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    23 and 33) Randall Cobb gained more total yards in one season than ANYONE IN THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE. He scored points eight different ways his final season at UK. He set the UK record for career touchdowns although he only played three years. The coaches didn’t give him the ball? Don’t let the facts get in the way of your story.

  58. BChunter
    2:12 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    WE need to hire an old Vet with great (SUCCESSFUL) coaching experience and hirE tim Couch as a QB and teach him what it takes to be a great recruiter/ head coach.. then hire TIm when the Old Vet retires

  59. Rich Madky
    2:30 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Again, Dirk Koetter’s name is hardly new to the search. It was first mentioned within 2 hours of Joker being fired and has been mentioned consistently since then.

  60. nope
    2:34 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    not petrino

  61. SeoulCat
    2:58 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    A 40-34 record in the PAC-12 translates to what? 24-50 in the SEC? No more but single candidates. We want a home run.

  62. fur eel
    3:05 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Matt drops names of individual coaches that the athletic department says they are considering. Let’s just see the whole list already.

  63. SeoulCat
    3:12 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    *bunt single

  64. LafMan
    3:19 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    He looks like David Hasselhoff’s brother!!

  65. LafMan
    3:23 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Dirk Hasselhoff

  66. bbmike
    3:32 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    If you followed NFL for even 1 minute this year you would know who this guy is.

  67. fatkidineastky
    3:32 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I am okay with this kind of hire…..a nice story from about the UK job and how it is generally viewed by staff that has been there as a WONDERFUL opportunity ( ) and how wives LOVE THE LIFESTYLE… it could be a wonderful opportunity for someone like Koetter choosing to “stabilize” their lifestyle…but Klingsbury…not a long term choice…..knowing he will want to leave eventually..

  68. BDM
    3:36 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Ask the Jacksonville Jaguars fanbase what they think of this guy….

  69. phil
    3:48 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Would be a great hire but doubt he would downgrade to college if he is being offered a NFL job.

  70. jimmer
    3:53 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    59 – This. He’s not new to the search at all. He’s been mentioned from the very beginning.

  71. Jaguar
    4:20 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    There is no such thing as a Jaguar fan base. They draw worse than us number 68

  72. new coach!
    7:02 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This is the hot new coach we need to get. Check this out. Dave Doeren

  73. Seth
    8:23 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    This guy would be a disaster. He is a much better pro offensive coordinator than a college coach. As a Phoenix resident I watched him flounder in a pro-style offense at Arizona State for years until they fired him. Each season got progressively worse. If we really want Arizona State’s leftovers, we should be after Dennis Erickson. Granted he’s in his sixties, but he has a national championship pedigree, and can flat out recruit top talent. He also isn’t coaching this year, so there’s no financial buyout.