SMU hires Jim Leavitt as defensive coordinator

Apr 21, 2017; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt tells during spring practice at the Oregon Ducks outdoor practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Former South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt will be the new defensive coordinator at SMU, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Leavitt, 64, spent the past season in the same role at Florida Atlantic under new coach Willie Taggart, with whom he worked at Florida State and Oregon.

He replaces Kevin Kane, who left the Mustangs to become the new linebackers coach at Illinois.

Leavitt went 75-44 in 12 seasons as the first head coach at USF, taking the Bulls to five consecutive bowl games from 2005-09. He was fired after an investigation revealed he had struck a player.

Leavitt was also the DC at Oregon (2017-18) and Colorado (2015-16) and linebackers coach with the San Francisco 49ers (2011-14) under Jim Harbaugh.

Head coach Sonny Dykes led SMU to a 7-3 record (4-3 American Athletic Conference) last season. Dykes is 22-13 in three seasons guiding the Mustangs.

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–Field Level Media