Missouri hires Steve Wilks as new Defensive Coordinator

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Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Steve Wilks walks on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. The Browns won 27-19. (AP Photo/David Richard)

ST. LOUIS, Mo- The University of Missouri athletic department confirmed Thursday that Steve Wilks, the former Arizona Cardinals Head Coach, will be the football team’s next Defensive Coordinator.

Wilks, who took the 2020 season off from coaching, spent the past fourteen years coaching around the NFL, from Chicago to San Diego and Carolina before one season as the Cardinals’ head coach in 2018. He then served as Defensive Coordinator in Cleveland in 2019.

Wilks replaces Ryan Walters, who left Missouri to take the same job at Illinois under Bret Bielema’s new staff in Champaign.

Our news partners at the St. Louis Post Dispatch point out that Wilks has crossed paths with one of Eli Drinkwitz’s assistants previously–Wilks played for defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison in the Arena League, and Harbison later coached on Wilks’ staff in Arizona.

While he last coached in college in 2005 at Washington, his more recent NFL pedigree will likely be an asset in recruiting for players with an eye to making it to the next level.

Dave Matter from the Post-Dispatch also points out that Defensive Line Coach Brick Haley is no longer listed on the coaching staff portion of the team’s website. A department spokesman declined comment to FOX2 earlier this week when asked about Haley’s status. Haley, who along with Walters were holdovers from Barry Odom’s Missouri staff, played an important role in helping Eli Drinkwitz keep recruits who had verbally committed to Missouri before last year’s coaching change, on board.

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