The age-old adage goes that a leader is only as good as those he surrounds himself with. If that’s true, then Mizzou football just got a lot better as Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz filled a big hole on his staff. Defensive coordinator Ryan Walters left a defense that finished 85th overall when he joined Brett Bielema’s staff at Illinois. Coach Walters is not a bad coach, but the defense didn’t compete at the level it needs to succeed in the SEC. Enter Steve Wilks.
Coach Wilks has experience as an NFL head coach with Arizona and a defensive coordinator with Carolina and Cleveland. While it’s been 15 years since he coached at the college level, he brings a wealth of experience from there as well.
The bulk of Coach Wilks’ experience is as a defensive secondary coach. That should be a boost for a defense that was 84th in the nation in passing yards allowed and tied for 92nd in interceptions. Also, Coach Wilks’ NFL experience is an asset to recruiting. If the Tigers are to compete in the SEC, they will need to start winning more recruiting battles.
While it may be too early to tell how this hire will work out, we know one thing for sure. Coach Drinkwitz isn’t sitting on his laurels. He’s committed to winning and will not stop until he gets there. The more solid coaches he adds to his staff, the sooner they will get there. Welcome to the ZOU Coach Wilks. Expectations are sky-high.