Earlier this week, it was announced that defensive line coach Jess Simpson was leaving the Miami Hurricanes to (re)join the Atlanta Falcons for the same position. Moments before the news broke, fans and players learned that Todd Stroud would become Miami’s next defensive line coach and assistant head coach.
Stroud was Akron’s defensive line coach and director of strength and conditioning from 2012 to 2015, was promoted to assistant head coach in 2016, and was promoted again to become their defensive coordinator in 2018 in addition to his status as assistant head coach.
The caliber of talent and level of competition are vastly different between Miami and Akron, but Stroud brings vital experience to Miami’s new staff — coaching over 30-years for 9 total schools.
Akron’s defense may have been average in 2018 under Stroud, but there were still some convincing bright spots.
In addition to announcing the hiring of Stroud, Hurricanes Sports stated: “In 2018, the Zips’ defense ranked third in the Mid-American Conference in third-down defense, third in passing efficiency defense and forced 21 turnovers, including two pick-sixes in a 39-34 win at eventual Big Ten West champion Northwestern… The Zips improved from 91st in yards per play to 36th nationally, and from 66th in yards per pass attempt to 21st in the country.”
While his head coaching career is extremely young, Manny Diaz has done a great job with his first coaching staff — adding experienced coaches who possess similar mindsets as him.
”...we have emphasized continuity on the defensive side of the ball,” head coach Manny Diaz stated. “Todd is a high energy teacher and motivator whose defensive philosophy aligns perfectly with ours. He knows exactly what a Miami defense looks like up front – from the weight room to the film room to the playing field.”
So, what should we expect from Miami’s defensive line in 2019? With Diaz as head coach, it’s safe to assume that his aggressive philosophy will carry-over. The Hurricanes’ coaching staff added great talent through the transfer portal — fortifying and reloading the defense especially. However, matching the success that Miami’s defense had in 2018 will be no easy task, as they led the nation in tackles for loss.