John Chavis leaving LSU to become Texas A&M's defensive coordinator

Wednesday December 31st, 2014

LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis has accepted the same position at Texas A&M, according to a source. Yahoo Sports first reported the hire.

The move comes a day after LSU’s 31-28 loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl. Chavis’ hiring is a coup for third-year Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, whose problems have not been his high-powered offense, but instead a defense that has too often disappointed.

The highly regarded Chavis leaves LSU after six seasons, including four in which his unit was among the nation’s top 12 in total defense. His defense is ranked 11th in the FBS this season (316.8 yards per game).

In 2011, Chavis won the Broyles Award given to the nation's top assistant. Prior to LSU, he was defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Tennessee, for 14 years, including when the Volunteers won the national title in 1998.

The 58-year-old Chavis will be tasked with an overhaul of a Texas A&M defense that has been the worst in the SEC the last two seasons. Chavis’ predecessor, Mark Snyder, was fired the day after giving up 491 yards in a regular-season finale loss to LSU on Nov. 27.

Chavis coached 21 players who were selected in the NFL draft during his tenure at LSU. Before being promoted to defensive coordinator at Tennessee in 1995, he was defensive line and linebackers coach for the Volunteers for six seasons.

He was also defensive coordinator at Alabama A&M (1986-88) and Alabama State (1984-85). In 1980, he got his first full-time assistant job coaching the defensive line at Alabama A&M, a position he held for four seasons.

Chavis’ coaching career started as a graduate assistant in 1979 at Tennessee after he played nose tackle for the Volunteers for three seasons.

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