Matt Zenitz of 247Sports reported on Jan. 25 that Texas football is expected to hire the Miami Dolphins assistant defensive line coach Kenny Baker as their new DL coach. Baker looks to be Texas's replacement as defensive line coach for Bo Davis, who left to take the same job with the LSU Tigers earlier this offseason.
Baker spent one season with the Dolphins as their assistant defensive line coach last season. He was part of a defensive staff for the Dolphins that helped this unit become one of the most improved in the NFL year-over-year.
Texas football hires "up-and-coming" Dolphins assistant DL coach Kenny Baker
After allowing over four yards per carry in 2022, the Dolphins ranked sixth in the NFL this season with 3.8 yards per carry allowed. The Dolphins also ranked in the top half of the NFL this season in sack production, registering 56 in 2023. That was after a 2022 campaign where the Dolphins only registered 40 sacks, meaning a 16 sack improvement year-over-year in 2023.
Baker also helped coach up two of the better defensive tackles in the AFC in 2023, Zach Sieler and Christian Wilkins, who both registered double-digit tackles for loss last season with the Dolphins.
Before taking the assistant DL coaching job with the Dolphins for one season, Baker was a college and high school coach for over a decade.
Baker was the defensive line coach for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers for two years and defensive ends coach for one. He helped to develop multiple all-conference players during his time at Western Kentucky in the early 2010s, including 2021 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year DeAngelo Malone.
In 2019, Baker was the defensive line coach at UT-Chattanooga in the FCS. He coached up three all-conference defensive linemen in his one season at UT-Chattanooga in 2019. One of those defensive linemen was also an All-American, Devonnsha Maxwell.
Baker has also served as a defensive line coach at Mercer from 2014 to 2018, and the co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Berry College in 2013. Mercer's defensive line ranked among the top three rushing defenses in two of Baker's final three seasons on staff with the Bears.
Mercer also ranked in the top two in turnover margin in two of Baker's seasons on the defensive staff as defensive line coach.
Baker has all the makings of a rising star among young defensive line coaches in college and the NFL in the last few years. He coached up over a half-dozen all conference players in the last half-decade he was coaching at the collegiate level, including one Defensive Player of the Year at Western Kentucky.