In 2008 his defense at a BCS school (pre-bowl before he left)
- -- Scoring Defense: 9th in NCAA
-- Total Defense: 16th in NCAA
-- Pass Defense: 12th in NCAA
-- Pass Efficiency Defense: 11th in NCAA
-- Rush Defense: 37th
-- Sacks: 107th <-- only bad stat
-- Tackles for Loss: 49th (which is impressive given the lack of sacks)
In 2008 they team he inherited was 112th in the NCAA in Rush Defense. When he got there, they jumped to 16th in the nation in one season. Their scoring defense and total defense rankings jumped from 110th and 117th to 48th and 39th respectively. Pass defense went from 104th to 81st (which is still huge improvement given the other issues before he got there).
It's interesting that he achieved such a rapid jump in stats for his new school given that he had no prior familiarity with the BCS conference he faced.
He has been a defensive coordinator at BCS schools for the past five years. He also has experience recruiting in the region.
That's the type of resume you want. A proven guy that coaches his balls off and produces DRAMATIC improvements in yards and points allowed when he arrives. And a guy that has done it at multiple places.
In case you were wondering, that's Vic Koenning the current DC at Kansas State. He ran Clemson's defense from '05-'08. I've seen mentions from message boards that he runs a softer scheme. Maybe that's true, but defenses play pretty well when he's there.
Would I rather have Kirby Smart? Absolutely! But that's a serious resume.
BTW -- In case you're curious, his defense held Tech's triple option to 207 yards rushing on 52 carries while allowing only 14 offensive points. The glaring hole in his resume is the 66 points surrendered this year to Texas Tech. However, I would argue that if you're down 38-0 and then give up 28 more points, your issue is the prior coaching staff recruiting quitters. Not scheme.
Just for giggles...more on Koenning:
- 2007 - Top 10 defense in scoring and total defense. Top 25 in most other big categories.
2006 - #16 in scoring defense and #13 in total defense. #20 in sacks.
2005 - #11 in scoring defense and #20 in total defense. Also #25 in sacks.
-- Clemson's Stats Pre-Bowl in 2008
-- KSU defensive stats in 2009