On December 1, the Baylor Bears announced that defensive coordinator Ron Roberts and safeties coach Ronnie Wheat were no longer with the program, as first reported by SicEm365.
Now, exactly four weeks later, the Bears have found their man at defensive coordinator, and he is quite familiar with Waco.
Oregon co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Matt Powledge will return to Baylor to take the reins as the Bears’ next defensive coordinator, the school announced on Thursday.
Powledge spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons as the special teams’ coordinator and safeties coach before leaving for Oregon ahead of the 2022 season.
“We are thrilled to welcome Matt back to Waco,” head coach Dave Aranda said in a statement. “Matt is an elite defensive mind who has a great understanding of our system, on and off the field. His experience both on our staff and elsewhere, paired with his understanding of person over player and his ability to connect with student-athletes, make him an ideal fit to serve as our defensive coordinator.
A native of Huntsville, Texas, Powledge will return to his home state after one terrific season with Oregon. In Dan Lanning’s first year, Oregon went 10-3, with a 7-2 mark in the Pac-12, had three top-15 wins and just won the Holiday Bowl over North Carolina.
Now, after helping lead the Ducks to a successful season, Powledge will attempt to bring back the tenacious defense that made Baylor so dangerous in 2021.