This is all breaking, so we’ll keep this post updated as we learn more. But with the news of Charlie Harbison stepping down from his role in the secondary, Missouri had a defensive coach position available to fill. That position was reportedly filled today with Eli Drinkwitz moving to hire Kevin Peoples away from Indiana, per Pete Thamel:
Sources: Missouri is hiring Indiana defensive line coach Kevin Peoples. He's a veteran line coach with time at Tulane, Arkansas and Arkansas State.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 7, 2022
Peoples is a veteran coach with an expansive resume which started in Helena, Montana at Carroll College, in the NAIA in 1993. He spent a couples seasons in Warrensburg, MO at Central Missouri in the late 90s, and also coached at Arkansas State for 7 years, Georgia Southern, Tulane, and Arkansas under Bobby Petrino.
Per Mitchell Forde at PowerMizzou and Dave Matter of the Post-Dispatch, Al Davis is still expected to remain on staff as a full time assistant. A position he was promoted to after helping the Defensive Line improve it’s play down the second half stretch of the season.
So with two defensive line coaches, that leaves D.J. Smith to continue with Linebackers, and Aaron Fletcher still as the defensive backs coach, with Steve Wilks at Defensive Coordinator. Wilks also has most of his experience as a DB coach.
UPDATE: Mizzou has confirmed the news via press release:
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri football head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Al Davis as assistant coach for the interior defensive line and Kevin Peoples as assistant coach for the edge defensive line on Friday.
The 2022 season will mark the second for Davis with the Tigers. Peoples arrives in Columbia after two seasons at Indiana and coaching stops at Tulane, Georgia Southern, Arkansas and Arkansas State (among others).
“Al Davis and Kevin Peoples are strong coaches and leaders to work with our defensive line,” Drinkwitz said. “They’re experienced individually but also together with their relationship. We made good progress at the line as the season progressed. Our defensive linemen will learn a lot from Al and Kevin.”
Davis was promoted to Mizzou’s defensive line coach in October 2021. He coached the defensive tackles at Illinois in 2020. Davis’ season at Illinois came following three years at Hutchinson Community College where he had been promoted to associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator.
He was a defensive graduate assistant coach at Arkansas for the 2014-16 seasons after lettering for the Razorbacks from 2009-12. He served as captain as a senior in 2012.
“I’m proud of the progress we made as a defensive line in 2021,” Davis said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue as a member of Coach Drinkwitz’s staff. To work with Coach Peoples, a man I know well and played for myself, brings excitement and experience to our group.”
Under Peoples, a 29-year coaching veteran, IU led the Big Ten in sacks for the first time in program history in 2020. Jerome Johnson, who signed a free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins, became the first Hoosiers defensive tackle to earn first-team all-conference honors since Hurvin McCormack in 1993.
He arrived in Bloomington after four seasons as Tulane University’s defensive line coach. People was part of Green Wave teams that won consecutive bowl games for the first time in program history in 2018 and 2019. Three-time all-conference defensive end Patrick Johnson led the team in sacks both years and finished his career with 24.5, which sits atop the Tulane record book.
Peoples’ also spent time coaching the defensive lines at Georgia Southern (2014-15), UAB (2013), Arkansas (2011-12), Arkansas State (2002-09), Northwestern State (2001), Las Vegas Outlaws (2000) Central Missouri (1997-98), Northwestern State (1996), Blinn Community College (1995), Carroll College (1993-94). He served as Arkansas’ director of high school relations in 2010 and Northern Arizona’s defensive line and special teams coach in 1999.
“I’m excited to be part of the culture that Coach Drinkwitz is building here at the University of Missouri,” Peoples said. “Being back in the SEC and working with this group of coaches and staff, including one of my former players, is a strong motivation. I look forward to meeting and working with our student-athletes.”
We’ll update this post as more information comes out.