10 Possible Candidates for Oregon DX Defense Coordinator

Eugene – Andy Avalus’ departure to Boise leaves Oregon looking for a third Defense Coordinator in four years under Mario Cristobal and fifth in seven years.

Here is a summary of 10 potential candidates to be the next Oregon Defense Coordinator, listed alphabetically. This is not an exhaustive list, as the position naturally generates a lot of interest from coaches with varying degrees of experience.

Internal candidates

Oregon Ducks Safety Coach Keith Hayward (center) during an open training session at Hillsborough Stadium on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Sean Migger / Staff

Keith Hayward, Oregon safety trainer

Among the current defense personnel in Oregon, Heyward is most likely considered for a coordinator position.

Heyward was considered hard for the position two years ago and has spent the past two seasons with Avalos at the press box.

An Oregon graduate who has worked in Washington and the University of Southern California has aspirations to be a Defense Coordinator and is one of Oregon’s top recruiters.

His biggest challenge is that he has never called plays.

Pros: Smooth transmission, experienced on the Pac-12 | The negatives: Never connected

Joe Salava

Oregon Ducks defensive line coach Joe Salavia during an open training session at Hillsborough Stadium on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Sean Migger / Staff

Joe Salave’a, Oregon defensive coach

Salave’a is unlikely to receive much attention for the position of curator. He’s also never called any plays and the Oregon home defense is coming out of a sub-season, which is hard to justify given the talent the group has brought back.

Pros: Smooth transmission The negatives: Never connected

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Ken Wilson

Oregon midfielders coach Ken Wilson. (AP Photo / Young Kwak)AP

Ken Wilson, coach of the Oregon players

Of the three internal nominees, only Wilson called the plays, and he did so while working as a defense coordinator in Nevada, where he spent 23 seasons before going to Washington state.

Pros: Was theatrically connected, worked on Pac-12 | The negatives: Time away from calling plays

Candidates abroad

Detroit Lions vs Los Angeles Chargers - September 15, 2019

Detroit defensive line coach Lions Beau Davis speaks with defensive midfielder Shawn Robinson (91) in their NFL fourth-quarter match against Los Angeles Chargers at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday September 15, 2019. Lions won the match, 13-0, improving to 1-0-1 in the season. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

Beau Davis, coach of the Detroit Lions defensive line

Davis held talks with Texas about joining the coaching staff, but the deal did not materialize. He’s never been a defensive coordinator before so if Davis was appointed he would likely be a position coach.

Pros: A well-known recruiter with ties to the South The negatives: Never connected or coordinated

Jim Leonard

Jim Leonard, Wisconsin State Defense Coordinator, during the first half of the college football game against New Mexico on Saturday, September 8, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin (AP Photo / Morry Gash)AP

Jim Leonard, Wisconsin Defense Coordinator

Leonard has headed the Wisconsin defense since 2017 and has been one of the 10 best goalscoring and brave defense against the race nearly every year since then.

UW is Leonhard’s parent university, so getting him to leave would be tough, even for an increase from $ 1.1 million already. He’s also a coaching defensive fullback, which makes his addition likely to lead to more change for the Oregon squad.

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He has no ties to the West Coast, but Leonard has enlisted the West Coast. He is a proven defensive player, reached a Broyles Award Final and a future head coach.

Pros: proven playing player in top 10 defense, talented developer | The negatives: Lack of west coast relationships

Outback Bowl - Minnesota vs. Auburn

Tampa, Florida – Jan 01: Defense Coordinator Kevin Steele of the Auburn Tigers speaks with players during the 2020 Outback Bowl against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Raymond James Stadium on Jan 01, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrman / Getty Images)Getty Images

Kevin Steele, former Auburn Defense Coordinator

Steele is one of the game’s most respected and respected defensive minds. Unlike two years ago, money wasn’t a factor in UO as Auburn is acquiring a $ 5 million acquisition of Steele, who worked with Cristobal in Alabama in 2013-14 and they are good friends.

Auburn’s defense underwent a massive shift under Steele, whose plot is no different from that of Avalus.

Steele spawned a swarm of NFL players, mainly defenders and rushers, with Kaifon Thibudo going to inherit.

Pros: Extensive experience, connected play The negatives: no connections to the west coast

Alabama orange soccer practice December 27, 2018

Alabama Defense Coordinator Tosh Lowboy during training December 27, 2018 (Ben Flanagan / AL.com)

Tosh Lowboy, coach of the Atlanta Falcons defensive line

Lowboy spent a season as defense coordinator in Alabama but his team His tenure as a defensive play caller was rocky and short-lived, Which led to his unofficial departure to Brown and now the Falcons.

He played at Cal, where he later trained and was the Recruiter of the Year at Rivals in 2010. He also trained Lowboy in Washington before going to Alabama, where he was the best defensive recruiter for Crimson Tide and worked with Cristobal.

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Pros: Popular recruiter, in-depth knowledge and connections on the West Coast | The negatives: the ability to communicate playing in a pinch

Chris Rmph

Texas outside midfielders coach Chris Rumpf. (AP photo)AP

Chris Rampf, Houston Texas coach outside full-back

Rumph and Crystal were both in Alabama in 2013, after which Rumph went to Texas, Florida, Tennessee and now the NFL.

He is a great recruiter and most of his players have signed up from Georgia, Florida and Texas.

Rumph’s background has been mostly as a defensive coach, but he has worked with outside players in Tennessee and Texans. Like Davis, he will likely be hired as a position coach and someone else who will be the coordinator.

Pros: Recruiter accomplished in the Southeast | The negatives: Lack of playing experience, not trained on the West Coast

Lance Thompson

Alabama off-back coach Lance Thompson is working with Xavier Dickson during training on Monday, October 21, 2013, at the Thomas Drew practice facility in Tuscaloosa, ALA. (Vasha Hunt/[email protected])

Lance Thompson, Former Defender Coach, South Carolina, Tennessee

Thompson worked with Cristobal while in Alabama in 2013-14. He was one of the best recruits in the country and signed with Julio Jones, AJ Macaron, Mark Barron, DJ Flocker and Trent Richardson while working with Crimson Tide.

Thompson coached the defensive line for South Carolina but was an off-line coach in Alabama. He has also worked in Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, UCF and FAU.

It’s hard to see him leave the South, but he’s spent the last year without training so he’s more open to other geographic opportunities.

Pros: Great recruiter, proven track record at many stops | The negatives: Wasn’t connected to playing full time

Todd Orlando

Texas Longhorns’ defense coordinator Todd Orlando walks the sidelines during the first half of the college football game against the Oklahoma Sunners, Saturday, October 6, 2018, in Dallas, Texas. (AP Photo / Roger Steinmann)AP

Todd Orlando, Defense Coordinator, University of Southern California

Orlando served in this role under Cristobal’s Financial Intelligence Unit in 2011-12.

He delivered immediate results while in Texas, and the Longhorns’ downturn in 2019 was clearly not all in Orlando.

He’s only had a year in his tenure at the University of Southern California and the takeover could be a bit pricey, but it would also be a knock for the Trojans to lure him away.

Pros: Convenient planner, respectable recruiter, influence on USC | The negatives: He would be a prime candidate for successful training

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