Florida International defensive coordinator Matt House became the University of Kentucky linebacker coach and special teams coordinator Thursday, replacing former coach Andy Buh.
House's selection marks his return to Power Five football, as he previously served served as a defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh for two seasons before taking the same role at FIU.
After leading Pitt to the 34th and 33rd best defense in the nation respectively in 2013 and 2014, House's unit in Miami ranked 70th in total defense a year after they were ranked 36th.
Better pay seems like one of the main reasons House made the move, as Kentucky can give him a raise from the $167,000 he made with the Golden Panthers last season.The opportunity also could give House a chance to regroup after a down season in a position with less responsibilities and the potential to work himself into another coordinator or head coaching spot somewhere else if he desires.
For FIU, the loss of their defensive coordinator harms the timely development of their defense coming into fall camp. The Golden Panthers already have lost two coaches during 2016 in special teams coordinator Shannon Moore (who went to East Carolina in the same role) and Tem Lukabu (who initially went to Central Michigan but later joined the San Francisco 49ers before coaching a regular season game with CMU).
With all of the turnover within the FIU coaching ranks, head coach Ron Turner will have himself a major challenge in filling the huge hole left by House's departure while trying to create as much stability as possible. Without spring to get used to personnel and implement changes, whoever takes the position will have their work cut out for them coming into a make or break year for Turner.
If the Golden Panthers were to promote from within, tight ends coach Jason Brook or cornerbacks coach Greg Moss seem to be be the most likely candidates. Both have spent three years on Turner's staff, with Brooks serving as secondary coach and Moss working as a defensive quality control assistant for their first two years respectively.
The flip side of that coin would be bringing an outsider in to fill the role. While the prospective candidate would potentially have more experience within the role than a promotion within the program, how much chemistry that coordinator would be able to build with his players in a short window could be the deciding factor in how the team performs.
The best case scenario for Turner would be to make his decision as quickly as possible, as the more time he affords his new hire/promotion to sink into the role comfortably will aid in how smoothly the transition happens. If that doesn't happen, fans will most likely chalk it up as another failure by the athletic department in managing the team.