Last offseason’s search for a defensive coordinator was long, arduous and, in the end, more than a bit surprising. This year’s search? Anything but.
Less than one week after Steve Wilks left to re-join the NFL coaching fraternity, Eli Drinkwitz is reportedly promoting Blake Baker to take his spot.
Missouri is expected to promote Blake Baker to defensive coordinator, sources tell @on3sports.— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) February 14, 2022
Baker, a former defensive coordinator at Miami and Louisiana Tech, was hired as Missouri’s safeties coach in late January.https://t.co/k5bN5NhJoE
The Athletic and PowerMizzou have both confirmed the original report, with PowerMizzou and Dave Matter reporting some other minor shuffling happening on the defensive staff. It appears this is all but wrapped up.
Plan is for newly hired Missouri safeties coach Blake Baker to serve as defensive coordinator, source confirms. They’ll likely rework his deal, currently at two years, $500K. Plan is for linebackers coach DJ Smith to serve as co-coordinator. MU needs to hire cornerbacks coach.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) February 14, 2022
Baker is an experienced coordinator at the Power Five level, and even has some SEC time under his belt. He spent four years as the defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech before taking the same job at Miami in 2019. He retained his position through 2021, when he left to take a linebackers and co-DC job at LSU under Ed Orgeron. Brian Kelly chose not to retain him when he was hired this winter.
Baker’s time as a coach has a bit of crossover with Eli Drinkwitz, both of whom coached under Bryan Harsin’s Arkansas State team in 2013. However, Baker is more of a student of Manny Diaz than anyone. His career started as a graduate assistant on Diaz’s Texas staff before following and succeeding Diaz as DC at Louisiana Tech. Baker’s two seasons in Miami coincided with Diaz’s time as the head coach.
Our staff will have more on this development as the week continues.