After taking the 2020 season off from coaching, former Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has landed a new job. Wilks is now the defensive coordinator at Missouri and he is back in the college ranks.
This marks the first time since 2005 that Wilks will be coaching college athletes, since he was with Washington as a secondary coach. A part of the 2019 Browns coaching staff, Wilks ran a defense that was toward the bottom of the league in total defense. Freddie Kitchens was let go, as was majority of his staff including Wilks. Joe Woods was hired as the teams new defensive coordinator following the departure of Wilks.
A year away from football could have done Wilks some good. He will now have to recruit at an SEC school. It takes a ton of effort to recruit and be on the road all the time, even for a school near the bottom. Wilks said he took the year off to try to find the right fit.
Prior to being in Cleveland, Wilks was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals for a season. In terms of coaching Wilks is a veteran and has a ton of experience at both levels. Being with the Browns marked the second time that Wilks coached in Ohio, he was a defensive backs coach with Bowling Green back in 2003.
Wilks is the first seven-figure assistant coach in Mizzou history. His contract will pay him a total of 2.4 million dollars over two years - as long as he stays. This is a low risk, high reward move for Wilks. Missouri hasn’t seen a lot of success, if he can do solid things with the defense there it could land him a bigger job.