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Blake Baker: Next LA Tech Defensive Coordinator?

Reports suggest that Louisiana Tech Head Coach Skip Holtz will promote Blake Baker for the defensive coordinator job. The job came open when Manny Diaz left to be the new defensive coordinator at Mississippi State.

Xavier Woods and Vernon Butler are key returners for Blake Baker's defense.
Xavier Woods and Vernon Butler are key returners for Blake Baker's defense.
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana Tech led the nation in turnovers forced with 42 on the season. With that kind of production, it's easy to see why Holtz would want to keep the same defensive scheme going.

After spending time at Texas as a GA under Diaz and then a year as safeties coach at Louisiana Tech; there may be no one better trained in the nuances of Diaz's pressure defense than Blake Baker.

The 32 year old Baker is a 2008 graduate of Tulane, where he played linebacker. The Houston, TX native had a combined 143 tackles over his last three seasons, including 14 against Southern Miss in 2004.

After spending one year on the staff at Arkansas State, Baker was set to join Boise State's staff in January 2014 to be Director of Player Personnel. A month later, Diaz was hired at Tech and brought Baker in to coach safeties.

Baker is described as a high energy coach very much like Diaz. After going through three defensive coordinators in three years, Baker should be able to keep the same scheme intact in Ruston for a change.

Louisiana Tech will now need to hire a safeties coach and a defensive line coach, with Baker likely taking over linebackers.

Longtime Holtz Assistant Vernon Hargreaves was on the Houston staff last year and could be a possibility.  More long shot possibilities could be veteran assistants Brad Lawing and Ron Cooper, who both coached at South Carolina in the mid 00's as did Holtz. Lawing was at Florida last year and Cooper was at South Florida. Cooper was also recently a defensive backs coach at LSU.