Mark Stoops has the first staff member of his new Kentucky staff in place.
In a move that has been widely speculated since Stoops arrived in Lexington, former Florida State assistant coach D.J. Eliot has been hired as the Wildcats' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The school sent out a release Thursday afternoon to officially announce the addition.
"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, helping the Seminoles field one of the best units in the nation this season en route to an 11-2 record, the ACC championship and a BCS Orange Bowl bid.
Stoops and Eliot teamed to help lead a big turnaround in Tallahassee. Florida State ranked No. 108 in total defense prior to their arrival, but ranked No. 2 this season. The Seminoles allowed only 253.8 total yards, 93 rushing yards and 15.1 points per game.
Eliot coached this year's ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Bjoern Werner. The junior defensive end had 13 sacks to rank second nationally in that category. Cornellius "Tank" Carradine was a first-team All-ACC selection with 11 sacks. The duo had 31 tackles for loss between them.
"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.
Read more about Eliot's career and join in the discussion on our KentuckyScout football forum.
Eliot named UK defensive coordinator
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