Derrick LeBlanc has been named the Kentucky Wildcats’ new defensive line coach, head coach Mark Stoops announced Wednesday.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here at Kentucky with Coach Stoops and his staff,” LeBlanc said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to teach the young guys at UK and coach in the Southeastern Conference. Coach Stoops is a great defensive mind and he’s a great teacher of the game. On the outside looking in, there’s always been the potential to win at Kentucky and Coach Stoops has found a way to get it going in that direction and I’m looking forward to working with him and these players.”
LeBlanc joins the Wildcat program after one season as the defensive line coach at North Texas. LeBlanc went there after one season as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Mississippi.
That came after a stint with Southern Miss during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. LeBlanc helped revitalize the defensive line at Southern Miss. In his first year he managed a defensive line led by Khyri Thornton, who was named second team All-Conference USA and selected in the third round (85th overall pick) to the Packers in the 2014 NFL Draft. He also coached first-team All-Conference USA selection Rakeem Nunez-Roches, now going into this third season with the Chiefs.
LeBlanc joined the Golden Eagle staff after spending the 2012 season coaching the defensive line at Wyoming. He has previous SEC experience from his days at LSU, where he was an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator from 2008-11. He also assisted with on-campus recruiting and during his four years with the Tigers.
“I’ve known Derrick and watched his progress as a coach,” Stoops said. “I was super-impressed with his interview, with the organization of his teaching and how good he is as an instructor. Fundamentals are important at every position but especially in the defensive line and I believe Derrick will be a great teacher of proper technique and fundamentals.”
Prior to LSU, LeBlanc spent time as the defensive line coach at Arkansas Tech, Missouri State and Henderson State. LeBlanc actually began his college coaching career in 2000 as a graduate assistant position at LSU. There, he assisted then-defensive line coach Pete Jenkins in coaching the defensive line, as well as assisting the strength and conditioning staff.