The Missouri football program is looking for a new defensive coordinator, after the Carolina Panthers have hired Steve Wilks, who was previously within the organization for six years. Wilks spent the last year in Columbia, working under Eli Drinkwitz and leading the Tigers defense.
Wilks, a Charlotte native, spent six years in Carolina as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator earlier in his career. The Panthers announced the hire on Wednesday morning, leaving the Tigers looking to replace Wilks, just a month before spring practice was set to start.
Drinkwitz hired Wilks, an Appalachian State alum, to replace Ryan Walters as Mizzou’s DC prior to the 2021 season. Missouri was 106th in total defense, 124th against the run, 30th against the pass and 113th in points allowed. The Tigers defense was atrocious in rushing defense, which was evident as teams destroyed them on the ground, game after game.
Just last month, Drinkwitz hired Blake Baker, who’s been a defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech and Miami. Drinkwitz spoke about the hire recently, which could be an avenue he goes down when hiring a new coordinator.
“I thought that was an opportunity to add somebody who has coordinating experience at the collegiate level,” Drinkwitz said last week. “(Someone) who has seen a lot of different things, been in this SEC, been in the ACC, can be a sounding board for Steve and continue to help us improve and be somebody who can really be a No. 2 in that room.”
Now we will figure out what kind of pull Drinkwitz has when it comes to fixing his defense, especially looking for a new coordinator to take over a defense that was very bad last season.