The Advocate’s Wilson Alexander and 247’s Matt Zenitz reported Friday night that LSU is set to hire Missouri defensive coordinator Blake Baker as its defensive coordinator.
The Path to the Boot— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) January 6, 2024
Blake Baker has been named LSU’s defensive coordinator pic.twitter.com/Ml76stB4hI
“Blake brings a wealth of experience and success as a defensive coordinator throughout his career, including the last two years in the SEC at Missouri,” Brian Kelly said in a statement. “His ability to develop and motivate his players while putting together highly successful defenses sets him apart in his field. I am excited to welcome Blake and his family back to Baton Rouge.”
According to Yahoo’s Ross Dellenger, Baker’s deal is for three years and will pay him $2.2 million a year. Baker recently signed a contract extension with Missouri. That deal was reportedly for three years and around $2 million a year; Baker was set to make $1.9 million in 2024. He’ll have to pay Missouri about $950,000 as part of his buyout.
Baker has been with the LSU program before. In 2021 he was LSU’s linebackers coach and helped turn Damone Clark into a Butkus Award finalist. He was also a big part in recruiting Harold Perkins. Baker was not retained when Brian Kelly took over as head coach, and has spent the past two years as Mizzou’s defensive coordinator.
Baker’s Mizzou’s defense was everything that LSU’s wasn’t this season. Those Tigers ranked 25th in scoring defense (20.8 points per game) and was ranked 34th in total defense in both 2023 and 2022. In ‘22 Missouri gave up 341 yards a game, and in ‘22 they surrendered 336. Had LSU had that type of production on defense, we’d almost definitely be hanging out in Houston right about now getting ready for Monday’s national championship game.
Baker has ties to the state of Louisiana. He obviously coached at LSU before, but played football at Tulane and his wife played soccer for LSU where she was an All-SEC player. He was also Louisiana Tech’s defensive coordinator from 2015-2018.
With Baker in tow, now the focus will shift toward filling out the defensive staff (oh and hiring an offensive coordinator). We’ll have those updates for you whenever the news breaks.