Illinois is hiring defensive coordinator Ryan Walters away from Missouri. Walters has been Mizzou’s DC the past three seasons. Walters came to Missouri in 2015 after stints with Memphis, North Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona. FootballScoop first reported the story.
Walters, who came to Mizzou in 2015 as safeties coach, has served as defensive coordinator for the past two years, and he has overseen an impressive transformation of the Tiger defense into one of the SEC’s top units. In 2019, Walters’ defense ranked in the nation’s Top 20 in several major categories, including total defense (14th NCAA/3rd SEC– 312.0 avg.) and scoring defense (17th NCAA/6th SEC – 19.4 avg.), while excelling as a Top 10 pass defense (eighth in passing yards allowed NCAA/second SEC – 179.3 avg.).
In 2020, Mizzou ranked 8th in the SEC with 20 QB sacks and next to last in the league with just four interceptions, finishing ahead of Vanderbilt.
Walters was one of three defensive assistants retained by current MU coach Eliah Drinkwitz. Defensive line coach Brick Haley and secondary coach David Gibbs were the other two assistants who stayed on staff.