By Thayer Evans
December 29, 2014

Memphis associate head coach and linebackers coach Galen Scott is being promoted to defensive coordinator, according to a source.

Scott, 35, replaces former Tigers defensive coordinator Barry Odom, who accepted the same position at his alma mater, Missouri, last week after Memphis’ 55-48 overtime win over BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl. Scott has been at Memphis since 2010 and inherits a defense that ranked 10th in the FBS in points allowed this season (19.5 per game).

The aggressive unit was instrumental in the Tigers’ 10-3 record this season, the first time the American Athletic Conference school has had double-digit wins since 1938. Third-year coach Justin Fuente has engineered a remarkable turnaround at Memphis. He captured a share of the AAC title this season after taking over a downtrodden program that had a 5-31 record in the three seasons before his arrival.

Scott’s promotion is logical for Fuente. The two have known each other since they were both graduate assistants at Illinois State in 2001. Fuente and Scott later worked their way up to offensive and defensive coordinator, respectively, for the Redbirds.

A year after Fuente left to become an assistant at TCU in 2007, Scott departed for Tulsa, where he coached outside linebackers and safeties his first year and cornerbacks the next season.

In 2010, Fuente’s predecessor, Larry Porter, hired Scott as Memphis’ linebackers coach, and Scott added the title of co-defensive coordinator in 2011. When Fuente took over the Tigers the next season, he retained Scott.

An Orlando, Fla. native, Scott played linebacker at Illinois State, where he set school records for tackles in a game, season and career.

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