The Kentucky Wildcats will have a new offensive coordinator in 2016, but the defensive coordinator will remain the same.
According to Justin Rowland of Cats Illustrated, D.J. Eliot will return as UK's defensive coordinator next season. This news comes after UK once again finished near the bottom of most defensive categories in the SEC, including a tie with Auburn for last place in sacks (17).
Eliot has managed to help produce several NFL prospects on defense during his time in Lexington, including Avery Williamson, Za'Darius Smith and Bud Dupree. Eliot has been UK's DC since coming to the school in 2012 after serving as Florida State's defensive ends coach while Mark Stoops was the Seminoles' defensive coordinator.
It's safe to say defense hasn't exactly been the strong suit of Stoops and Eliot thus far at Kentucky, but we are just now getting to where the majority of the players on the roster will be Stoops recruits and not players from the Joker Phillips regime. It's obvious Stoops isn't ready to give up on Eliot just yet, but he will certainly be on the hot seat in 2015 after the way his defense has collapsed down the stretch in two straight seasons.
Eliot's unit allowed an average of 43.8 points per game over the last six games of UK's 2014 season, a stretch that saw the 'Cats lose all six contests and fall one game short of a bowl berth. A similar scenario played out in 2015 as the defense surrendered 31.7 points per game over the final six games of 2015, and that number jumps to 36 ppg if you take out the Charlotte game.
Still, Eliot hasn't got to coordinate a defense full of mostly his guys, so let's SEE what he can do with what should be a much-improved unit in 2016 with as many as nine returning players who started games last season.