Lovett named new defensive coordinator

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – John Lovett has been named the new defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. A veteran coach with 18 years of experience as a defensive coordinator with stops at Clemson, Auburn and Mississippi, Lovett inherits a unit that returns 15 players with starting experience, including three Freshman All-Americans.

"John brings a wealth of experience and success, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the ACC," Miami head coach Randy Shannon said. "He has consistently elevated the play of defenses at every school he has coached. Our players will love his approach and mentality. John is a tremendous recruiter and will also be a great addition to the University of Miami community."

Lovett, 58, spent the last two seasons as the special teams coordinator and a defensive assistant at North Carolina, where the kickoff coverage unit ranked among the nation's top 15 and the Tar Heels blocked six kicks in 2008. He coached the NCAA all-time leader in combined kick return yards in Brandon Tate. Tate also established the ACC career mark for kickoff return yards. Kicker Connor Barth set the school career mark for field goals.

Prior to going to North Carolina, Lovett was the defensive coordinator at Bowling Green from 2005-06. In addition to coordinating the defense at Bowling Green, Lovett coached linebackers in 2005 and defensive backs in 2006. In his first year with the Falcons, Lovett's defense ranked 20th in the country in turnover margin.

Lovett served as the defensive coordinator at Clemson from 2002-04 and helped develop one of the ACC's top defenses while defensive backs Justin Miller and Brian Mance earned All-America honors. In 2004, Clemson was 11th in the nation in pass defense efficiency (103.4) and 26th in total defense (327.3). In 2003, his defense allowed just 19.2 points per game as Clemson finished the year with nine wins and a top 25 national ranking.

As the defensive coordinator at Auburn from 1999-2001, Lovett helped lead the Tigers to bowl games each of his last two years including an appearance in the 2001 Peach Bowl.

Lovett coached the secondary all four years he was at Ole Miss (1995-98), including the 1997 season when the Rebels had an 8-4 overall record, including a victory in the Motor City Bowl.

Prior to coaching at Mississippi in 1995, Lovett worked as defensive coordinator at the University of Maine for two stints. He first went to Orono in 1985 and served as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1985-88. He also served as defensive coordinator for the Black Bears in 1994. The 1987 team won the conference championship and qualified for the Division I-AA playoffs.

Lovett began his career in coaching at Saint Joseph's Region High School in Montvale, N.J., in 1976. He started his college career in 1978 at Union College in New York, where he worked until 1982. Lovett spent the 1983 season in the Ivy League at Brown, and then moved back to New York to work under Joe Walton as the New York Jets' defensive quality control coach in 1984. In 1989, he joined head coach Tim Murphy at the University of Cincinnati, where he remained until 1992. In 1993, he coached at UNLV as the secondary coach.

Lovett graduated from C.W. Post College in December of 1973. He initially was a walk-on, but quickly earned a scholarship and served as the team's co-captain as a senior in 1973. He played for Dom Anile, who is now a Consultant to Player Personnel for the Indianapolis Colts. At the completion of his career, he enrolled in graduate school at the University of Denver and he earned his Master's Degree in 1975. The next year he entered the coaching profession.

He has a wife, Carol.

Lovett's Coaching Career
2007-2008 North Carolina (assistant coach/special teams coordinator/defensive assistant)
2005-06 Bowling Green (assistant coach/defensive coordinator/linebackers/defensive backs)
2002-04 Clemson (assistant coach/defensive coordinator)
1999-2001 Auburn (assistant coach/defensive coordinator)
1995-98 Mississippi (assistant coach/secondary)
1994 Maine (assistant coach/defensive coordinator)
1993 UNLV?(assistant coach/secondary)
1989-92 Cincinnati (assistant coach/defensive coordinator)
1985-88 Maine (assistant coach/defensive coordinator)
1984 New York Jets (defensive quality control coach)
1983 Brown (assistant coach)
1978-82 Union College, N.Y. (assistant coach)
1976-77 St. Joseph's Regional High School, N.J.

Former Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville on John Lovett:
"He's a technically sound and fundamental coach. He's very aggressive on defense. He's also one of the best recruiters that I have been around especially when it comes to the Northeast. Having spent time at Miami myself, I think he'll be a great fit for the University of Miami."

Former Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden on John Lovett:
"John was very productive on the field. We had great success when he was at Clemson and he led one of the top defenses in the SEC when he was at Auburn. He's also a good recruiter. He has very good knowledge of different defenses especially when it comes to defending multiple and spread offenses. He's a good communicator with student-athletes and I feel he'll do a great job at the University of Miami.


Canes Time Top Stories