LAWRENCE — Les Miles has identified his new right-hand man on the defensive side.
Miles on Monday night announced the hiring of former Colorado defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot to that same position at Kansas. A 20-year coaching veteran, Eliot arrives on Miles’ first-year staff after a two-year stint with the Buffaloes.
Eliot, who deployed a 3-4 defensive scheme with Colorado, also served as Kentucky’s defensive coordinator for a four-year stretch (2013-16).
"D.J. Eliot has time and again elevated the defenses he works with,” Miles said in a news release. “He knows how to get the best out of his players, both on and off the field.”
Colorado this season is ranked 56th nationally in average yards allowed (390.3) and 69th in points surrendered per game (28.5). Other past stops include Florida State (2010-12, defensive ends), Rice (2007-09, defensive line/recruiting coordinator), Tulsa (2006, linebackers) and Texas State (2003-05, linebackers/defensive backs). Interestingly, Eliot graduated from the same high school — Edmond Memorial in Edmond, Okla. — as KU basketball coach Bill Self, and Eliot worked with former KU football coach David Beaty at Rice while latter served as wide receivers coach in 2007.
KU under former defensive coordinator Clint Bowen allowed 30.4 points and 426.8 yards per contest in the recently completed season, ranking 81st and 83rd, respectively. The Jayhawks’ 2.4 takeaways per game is tied for third nationally entering bowl season.
Eliot’s hiring brings Miles’ developing coaching staff to four, with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, offensive line coach Luke Meadows and defensive backs coach Chevis Jackson rounding out the group.
“I am very excited,” Miles said, “to have (Eliot) on board to lead our defense.”