Mark Stoops has opted to fill his vacant defensive coordinator position by promoting current UK inside linebackers coach Matt House, the school confirmed Monday.
House, who joined the Wildcats staff last year, previously served as a defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh and Florida International. He will fill the position previously occupied by D.J. Eliot, who took a job at Colorado earlier this month.
“I’m very excited to name Matt our defensive coordinator,” Stoops said in a statement released by UK. “He brings a wealth of experience and great passion for the game. In just one year, Matt has made a very good impression as the special teams coordinator and as a defensive coach. As the special teams coordinator, I’ve seen Matt’s leadership in front of the entire team.”
“I appreciate the opportunity Coach Stoops is giving me,” House said. “I’m excited to continue building the vision he has for the program and I’m excited to continue to grow and improve as a defensive unit.”
House's inside linebackers were both first-year starters in 2016. Sophomore Jordan Jones led the team in tackles (109) and tackles for loss (15.5) while earning second-team All-SEC honors. Junior Courtney Love was third on the team with 76 tackles. They both played key roles in helping the Cats go 7-6 and reach their first bowl game since the 2010 season.
Nine of UK's top 12 tacklers are slated to return in 2017.
Stoops indicated that his plan is to hire a special teams coordinator/outside linebackers coach to fill the vacancy on the staff.
House, a native of Harrison, Mich., earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State in 2000. He and his wife, Jessi, have a daughter, Avery, and three sons, Jackson, Jacob and Trent.