Strong tabs Bedford as Def. Coordinator

University of Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong has filled his final leadership position on his coaching staff as Vance Bedford has been hired as defensive coordinator, Strong announced Friday. Mike Sanford was named the team's offensive coordinator last week.

Strong and Bedford were on the same defensive staff at Florida for the last two seasons. Bedford has coached the cornerbacks at Florida, including winning the national title and defeating Cincinnati in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

"I'm thrilled to officially announce that Vance has joined me at Louisville and will serve as the defensive coordinator. I expect a lot from my coordinators, and I know Vance is the right man for the job. Vance is a an excellent teacher and a terrific recruiter. I'm so fortunate to have him join me here at the University of Louisville."

Bedford has 17 years of coaching experience at schools in the SEC, Big Ten, BIG 12, and has six years of experience in the National Football League.

This past season, Bedford guided the Gators to a 13-1 record and a win over previously-undefeated Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. His secondary was one of the best in the nation, finishing seventh in the country in interceptions and second in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

During the 2008 season, Bedford helped mold a unit of young Gator cornerbacks into one of he best in the country. Florida*s pass defense ranked as one of the worst in the country in 2007, finishing 98th in pass yardage defense and 101st in pass efficiency defense. The turnaround was spearheaded by Bedford, who stepped in during the spring of 2008 to lead a secondary that ranked third in pass efficiency defense and 20th in pass yardage defense. The group also tied the school record and led the nation with 26 interceptions on the season, returning five for a touchdown, tied for best in the country.

Bedford began his NFL coaching career as the defensive backs* coach for the Chicago Bears in 1999. He remained with the Bears until 2004, and during that time his secondary returned seven interceptions for touchdowns during a four-year stretch, equaling the team*s total from the previous nine seasons combined. While with Chicago, Bedford developed three young talents in Mike Brown, Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher.

His first tenure as the Michigan*s secondary coach was from 1995-98, when the Wolverines led the nation in pass defense in 1997 and ranked 20th in 1996. The Wolverines* 1997 national championship secondary set an NCAA record allowing just 8.8 yards per completion and finished fifth nationally by allowing just 133.8 passing yards per contest. His secondary in 1997 led the Big Ten and finished third nationally with 22 interceptions, and Charles Woodson became the only defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy.

Prior to working at Michigan, he coached two seasons at Oklahoma State University in 1993 and 1994 and six seasons at Colorado State from 1987-92 as the defensive backs coach. tenure at CSU led to a trip to the 1991 Freedom Bowl and his 1990 secondary set a school record and led the nation with 25 interceptions.

A four-year letterman and starter at cornerback for the University of Texas from 1977-79 and also in 1981, Bedford is currently fifth on UT*s career pass breakup list. A two-time All-Southwest Conference second team selection, Bedford played in the Cotton and Sun bowls twice during his career. He was selected captain of the 1981 team and earned Most Valuable Player honors in the 1982 Senior Bowl All-Star Game.

Bedford was selected in the fifth round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He played one season with the Cardinals and a year with the USFL*s Oklahoma Outlaws in 1984 before embarking on a coaching career.

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