Brooks names new defensive backs coach

Head coach Rich Brooks wasted little time in filling the vacancy for a defensive backs coach.

Just a week after David Lockwood resigned to take a similar coaching position at West Virginia, Lockwood’s alma mater, Brooks hired Thom Kaumeyer to take over the open position.

Kaumeyer, a former Division I defensive coordinator, junior college football head coach, NFL player and NFL assistant, comes to UK after just one year as the defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at Tulane.

“Thom is an outstanding teacher,” Brooks said. “He brings good communication skills and ability to help continue the improvement we’ve made on defense.”

During his one season at Tulane, Kaumeyer helped the Green Wave improve its national rankings in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense.

Prior to his stop in Tulane, Kaumeyer coached at San Diego State from 2002-06, including four seasons as the defensive coordinator. In 2003, he orchestrated the nation’s biggest defensive improvement, guiding SDSU from 95th in total defense in 2002 to eighth in 2003.

Kaumeyer will be taking over for Lockwood, who spent just one season at UK. During Lockwood’s brief tenure in Lexington, he helped lead a UK pass defense that ranked in the nation’s top 25 in fewest yards allowed. The Cats also had 17 interceptions, the most since the 1993 season.

While Brooks was the head coach at Oregon, he recruited Kaumeyer to join the Ducks as a scholarship player. Kaumeyer, who came to Oregon as a junior college transfer from Palomar College, earned All-Pacific 10 honors before a five-year stint in the NFL.

The two were united for the first time as coaches when Brooks served as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons and hired Kaumeyer to be on his defensive staff.

“I’m excited to be with coach Brooks again and the opportunity to coach in the Southeastern Conference,” Kaumeyer said.

Now, as the new defensive backs coach at UK, he is also reunited with other faces he is familiar with.

“I also had known (defensive coordinator) Steve Brown and look forward to coaching with him on the defensive staff.”