The Kentucky Wildcats are close to hiring a new assistant football coach, one who already has significant experience coaching in a Power 5 conference.
It comes in former Pittsburgh Panthers defensive coordinator Matt House, who is close to joining UK as the new special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach, according to multiple media reports. House is now serving as the Florida International Panthers defensive coordinator, but it looks like he's ready to make the jump to UK and the SEC.
Jen Smith was the first to report the news, and she notes how House has experience both in college and the NFL:
Florida International defensive coordinator Matt House is on UK’s campus this morning for a second interview with Coach Mark Stoops, the Herald-Leader has learned.
House, 37, was hired a year ago as Florida International’s defensive coordinator after two seasons as Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator where his defenses ranked No. 33 and No. 34 nationally. He was the secondary coach there for a season before being promoted.
Before going to Pitt, House spent several years in the NFL, first as a defensive quality control assistant with the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11 and as a special teams assistant with the Carolina Panthers in 2008.
Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal has also confirmed the report, noting how it's not a done deal, but does appear likely to happen.
At UK, House would serve as the inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, according to the source. A UK spokeswoman could not confirm any hire.
Florida International ranked 76th nationally in total defense last season, but House’s Pittsburgh defenses ranked 33rd (2013) and 34th (2014) in that category.
Hale also points out how House has recruiting ties in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The former has been a hotbed for UK recruiting recently, but the latter two have not produced as much for the Cats, so maybe House can enhance the recruiting efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.