D.J. Eliot to leave UK for same position at Colorado

Kernel Sports Staff

A post from FootballScoop.com on Wednesday reported that UK football defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot would be leaving the coaching staff for a similar job with Colorado.

The report was later confirmed by multiple UK sources, and will leave the Cats looking for a replacement for the upcoming season. 

Next season will mark the first time in seven seasons that UK head coach Mark Stoops will be without Eliot at his side as he served as UK’s defensive coordinator in all four years of Stoops tenure at UK and also worked alongside him for three years prior at Florida State.

Despite making a bowl game this season, UK’s defense was still an area of concern as the Cats finished the season ranked 85th nationally in total defense. Defensive concerns to start the season also resulted in Stoops taking a more active role in playcalling for the defense. The defense allowed 142 points combined to Southern Miss, Florida and New Mexico State, which prompted Stoops taking on a larger role on that side of the ball.

This past season, UK also continued it struggles in stopping the run as it gave up 228.2 yards per game on the ground which ranked 110th in the nation. UK’s saving grace this past season was the pass defense, which ranked 35th in the country and could be attributed to Stoops stepping in on the defense with his past as a defensive backs coach.

The coaching staff’s focus remains on recruiting, despite the news, as National Signing Day draws near. UK has yet to release an indication that there is a list of prospective replacements at this time.