July 18, 2024

JUST IN: Longhorns Officially Hire Top Name As New Defensive Line Coach

The Texas Longhorns lost defensive line coach Bo Davis earlier this month, in what was one of the biggest blows of the offseason for the team. Now, the Horns have officially found their replacement, hiring former Miami Dolphins assistant Kenny Baker as the team’s new defensive line coach.

Texas ranks No. 17 in initial College Football Playoff rankings - Burnt  Orange Nation

“Kenny came highly recommended from people in the industry I really respect, and I had a great time talking with him during the interview process. He’ll be an awesome addition to our staff,” Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “He checks all the boxes as a coach, will be a tremendous developer of men and will fit in great with us. We’re so excited to have Kenny on board and can’t wait to get him to Austin and get him started.”

This season, the Dolphins were one of the best in the NFL at getting after the quarterback, ranking third in the league in sacks with 56, behind only Kansas City (57) and Baltimore (60).

The Dolphins were also one of the best teams in the NFL against the run, ranking seventh in the league and giving up just 97.1 yards per game.

“I’m really excited to be working with Coach Sark. He’s accomplished so much in his coaching career, and what he’s done in bringing Texas back and building the culture here is evident,” Baker said. “When he reached out, I couldn’t have been more excited, and it was a no-brainer that I wanted the job. But after getting to know him and his staff, I knew what they had going on here was something I definitely wanted to be a part of… Playing a part in that for the exceptional student-athletes that come to Texas is truly a blessing.”

Before heading to the NFL, Baker spent three seasons with Western Kentucky, where he helped the Hilltoppers make three consecutive bowl games, and helped develop defensive end DeAngelo Malone into the Conference USA Player of the Year and an NFL Draft Pick in 2021-22.

Baker also spent on year at Tennessee Chattanooga in 2019 and was the defensive line coach for Mercer from 2014-2018. He began his coaching career at Gardner-Webb in 2009, where he was a three-year starter during his playing career.

Sarkisian tabs Miami Dolphins' Kenny Baker as Defensive Line Coach -  University of Texas Athletics

Obviously, Baker will have a tall task in front of him as he attempts to replace one of the best defensive line coaches in the sport in Davis. That said, the 37-year-old is also one of the fastest risers in the coaching industry.

In other words, his track record shows that he is more than ready for the challenge.

“What an awesome opportunity this is, and I couldn’t be more excited,” Baker said. “First and foremost, it’s The University of Texas. It has a history, tradition and standard of excellence that any coach would dream of being associated with. As a longtime fan of college football who has followed Texas from afar, I’ve always appreciated how they do things the right way and are so well respected. What a privilege and honor it is to come to Austin and be part of the Longhorn Football program and this great university. It’s incredible for my family, too, we all can’t wait to get started and connect with the Longhorn community.”

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