Mizzou Defensive Coordinator Blake Baker Takes Position at LSU

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Mizzou Defensive Coordinator Blake Baker Takes Position at LSU​

After signing a contract extension with the program just two weeks ago, Baker took LSU's open defensive coordinator position.

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Missouri Tigers

MISSOURI TIGERS
Two weeks ago it looked like Missouri football's entire coaching staff would make a return next season, but tonight it learned its defensive coordinator will have a new home.
After spending two years in Columbia as the Tigers' defensive coordinator, Blake Baker will be taking the same role with LSU in the fall. The new contract will be worth $2.5 million for three years, making him the highest paid assistant in all of college football, per Pete Thamel of ESPN.


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Baker was set to receive $1.9 million from Missouri in 2024, with the potential to raise it to a number in the $2 million range. Since he is taking another defensive coordinator job, he will owe the school a buyout of $950,000, per Eli Hoff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The former Tulane graduate has plenty of ties to Louisiana. Baker served as a linebackers coach for LSU in 2021, and his wife played for its soccer program during college.

Missouri's defense has transformed to becoming one of the SEC's best in the last two years since the hire of Baker, so once LSU coach Brian Kelly dismissed his entire defensive coaching staff after an underwhelming year, Baker was a top target for the vacant position.
It only took a week after the Tigers' Cotton Bowl win over No. 7 Ohio State and 11-2 season concluded, showing how quickly things change in the college football landscape.

Now Missouri will have to look for other options to take the open defensive coordinator position, which head coach Eli Drinkwitz has already gotten underway via X.
A potential frontrunner is linebackers coach DJ Smith, who has been with the program since 2019 and received a co-defensive coordinator role upon Baker's original hire. He's the ideal in-house replacement, and has plenty of experience with developing Missouri's defensive talent.

It's the first roadblock for Drinkwitz and co. after a revitalizing season, but he has plenty of available options to replace Baker and continue the momentum the program has been building over the last year.
Dec 29, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Eliah Drinkwitz and Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) and Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Johnny Walker Jr. (15) celebrate after the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at AT&T Stadium.

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