North Texas Daily

Linebackers coach accepts position at Ole Miss

Linebackers coach accepts position at Ole Miss

Linebackers coach accepts position at Ole Miss
March 08
13:34 2019

North Texas’ co-defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach Jeff Koonz has accepted a job with the University of Mississippi as their new assistant coach for inside linebackers. Koonz is the fifth coach to depart from North Texas to accept a job with a Power 5 school. Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke announced the hiring of Koonz in a press release on Thursday.

“Coach Koonz has a proven track record of success as a recruiter and defensive coach,” Luke said. “His coaching style and personality make him a perfect fit for our staff. As we complete our coaching roster, these changes have created terrific staff chemistry, and we are excited to continue our momentum throughout the remainder of spring drills and into the season.”

Koonz started his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Auburn, his alma mater, during the 2004 season under former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville, coaching defensive backs. While he was there he helped lead the Tigers to the 2002 Capital One Bowl championship, a 2003 Music City Bowl victory, the 2004 SEC championship and a victory in the 2004 Nokia Sugar Bowl.

He accepted a job with Iowa State following his tenure at Auburn and spent two seasons as a secondary coach under Gene Chizik. Koonz also aided in coaching special teams from 2007-08.

After his stint with Iowa State, Koonz got hired on with Texas as a graduate assistant from 2005-06 and served as their linebackers’ coach near the end of the 2006 season.

In 2009, Koonz was placed in charge of Texas’ defensive quality control. He helped lead the Longhorns to a Big 12 title and an appearance in the 2009 Bowl Championship Series national championship game against Alabama.

The following year  Koonz accepted a job with Louisiana Tech as their new linebackers’ coach in 2010. In 2011, Louisiana Tech’s starting linebackers Adrien Cole and Jay Dudley totaled 230 tackles, which was 65 percent of the Bulldog’s tackles for the season. Cole was the team leader in tackles (128) and tackles for loss (13) and was also named first-team All-Western Athletic Conference and the WAC Player of the Year. Dudley was accountable for 102 tackles, four interceptions and eight tackles for loss.

After spending four seasons with Louisiana Tech, he accepted a job with Cincinnati under former head coach Tommy Tuberville once again. Koonz was hired on as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach.

During Koonz two-year stint with the Mean Green, he worked with former linebackers Ejodamen Ejiya and Brandon Garner who graduated after the 2018 season. During Ejiya’s final season with North Texas, he was selected to the first team All-Conference USA and led the team in tackles with (113, 55 solo), in tackles for loss with (23, No. 4 in FBS) and sacks (9), while also recording a forced fumble, fumble recovery, a blocked PAT and 11 quarterback hurries in 12 games.

Throughout Garner’s four seasons of playing for the Mean Green, he climbed his way up to being ranked fourth in program history in career tackles for loss (33.5) and third in single-season tackles for loss (17).

Koonz departure leaves a vacancy at the linebackers’ coach and co-defensive coordinator position.

Featured Image: Jeff Koonz, former linebackers’ coach and co-defensive coordinator, has accepted a job with the University of Mississippi. Courtesy Mean Green Sports.

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Matt Suarez

Matt Suarez

Sports Editor

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