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BATON ROUGE – The natives were getting restless.
New LSU football coach Brian Kelly has been on the job for a month without hiring an offensive or defensive coordinator.
Until now. Kansas City Chiefs linebackers coach Matt House, a former defensive coordinator at Kentucky in 2017 and ’18 and Pittsburgh in 2013 and ’14, is LSU’s new defensive coordinator.
“Matt checks every box we’re looking for in a defensive coordinator,” Kelly said in an LSU release on Tuesday night. “He’s led elite SEC defenses and garnered ample experience in both the NFL and as a coordinator at multiple collegiate stops.”
House, 43, learned defense under one of the best – Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, who hired him in 2016 as inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. Kelly previously tried to hire present Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White, who decided to stay at Kentucky.
While Kentucky’s defensive coordinator in 2018, House’s Wildcats finished No. 6 in the nation in fewest points allowed a game at 16.8.
While in Kansas City, House was coaching linebackers during the 2019 season when the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV and when Kansas City reached Super Bowl LV last season before losing to Tampa Bay. House also has NFL experience at Carolina in 2008 as an assistant special teams coach and with St. Louis as a defensive quality control coach from 2009-11.
“He possesses a great understanding of how to defend the type of offenses we will face each week in our conference,” Kelly said.
“It is an honor to join Coach Kelly’s staff at LSU,” House said. “I firmly believe in Coach Kelly’s vision and look forward to getting to work.”
House is expected to finish the NFL season with the Chiefs, who are 11-4 and playoff bound with a defense that is in the top five in the league in points allowed per game at 20.4 and in takeaways with 28.
“I am confident there are many exciting times ahead for the Tiger football family,” House said.
House was courted by Auburn and Tennessee after the 2020 season to be a defensive coordinator, but is believed to have turned both down.
“I’m excited that he’s joining our staff as we work toward building a championship program at LSU,” Kelly said.
A native of Harrison, Michigan, House graduated from Michigan State in 2000. His first coaching job was as a graduate assistant at Michigan State in 2001 and ’02. He then was a defensive assistant at North Carolina in 2003 and ’04. He was Gardner-Webb’s defensive line coach in 2005 and coached the defensive backs at Buffalo in 2006 and ’07.
After the stints in the NFL at Carolina and St. Louis, House was Pittsburgh’s secondary coach in 2012 before being promoted to coordinator in 2013 and ’14. He was Florida International’s defensive coordinator in 2014 before Stoops brought him to Kentucky.