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Official: Jim Leavitt Hired As Defensive Coordinator

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Official: Jim Leavitt Hired As Defensive Coordinator

Postby PonyPride » Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:16 pm

From SMUMustangs.com:

Leavitt Hired As Defensive Coordinator

Head Coach Sonny Dykes has announced the addition of Jim Leavitt as Defensive Coordinator. With over 40 years of coaching experience at the NCAA and professional level, Leavitt joins the Mustangs from FAU, where he most recently served in the same position since December 2019.

The Owls finished the 2020 season ranked fifth nationally in red zone defense (.696), 10th in scoring defense (17.4), 16th in pass defense (188.2 YPG) and 24th in total defense (342.8 YPG). FAU also finished with 25 sacks in just nine games. Leavitt helped the Owls to an appearance in the 2020 Montgomery Bowl.

Prior to his time at FAU, Leavitt spent one season at Florida State where he was hired as a defensive analyst before transitioning to defensive line coach.

Leavitt spent 2016-17 at Oregon where he was the Defensive Coordinator and linebackers coach.

As Defensive Coordinator and linebackers coach at Colorado (2015-16) Leavitt was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, honoring the nation's top assistant coach, and was the FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year. He helped the Buffaloes to an appearance in the 2016 Pac-12 title game.

Colorado finished the 2016 season ranked eighth nationally in yards per play (4.69), 17th in total defense (328.3 ypg) 13th in passing defense (182.5 ypg) and 18th in scoring defense (20.5 ppg).

Leavitt spent 2011-14 in the NFL, where he produced a pair of All-Pro selections as linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers. During his time, the 49ers went to two NFC Championship games and made an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.

In 1996, Leavitt was hired as USF's first head coach. In four years competing at the FCS level, the Bulls went 27-17 and were ranked for 24 consecutive weeks before making the jump to the FBS level as an independent in 2001. Leavitt took USF to five bowl games, winning three, and had the Bulls ranked as high as No. 2 in the polls in 2007. Overall, he posted 11 winning seasons in 13 years and amassed a 95-57 record.

In 1990, he joined the staff at Kansas State working with linebackers for two seasons before teaming up with Bob Stoops as Co-Defensive Coordinator. He was instrumental in the Wildcats' turnaround, helping them to a 45-23-1 mark and three bowl appearances in six seasons, and turning the nation's 93rd-ranked defense into the nation's best. He also helped produce four first-team All-Americans.

The first FBS stop for Leavitt came in 1988 when he spent two seasons as an intern/graduate assistant at Iowa.

Leavitt started his full-time career at Dubuque (1980-81) where he served as Defensive Coordinator and linebackers coach, as well as the head track and strength coach. He went on to spend five seasons at Morningside College as Special Teams Coordinator and DC.

Leavitt played both football (1974-77) and baseball at Missouri where he earned a bachelors in behavioral science and health education in 1978 before going on to complete his master's in counseling. He went on to serve as a graduate assistant there in 1978.

He and wife, Jody, have three daughters, Deandre, Sofia and Isabella.
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Re: Official: Jim Leavitt Hired As Defensive Coordinator

Postby DanFreibergerForHeisman » Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:59 pm

He has had an impressive career - looking forward to his contributions on The Hilltop.
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