Reports are coming in that Texas A&M Football will announce that LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis has been hired to fill the same position for Aggie Football.
Confirming @YahooSports report, multiple A&M sources tell me signed agreement in place between Aggies and former LSU DC John Chavis— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) December 31, 2014
Texas A&M has hired LSU’s John Chavis as its next defensive coordinator, sources have confirmed to Yahoo Sports.— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) December 31, 2014
John Chavis’ deal is for three-plus years. Details on compensation still being worked out. He’ll be in College Station in the next 24 hours.— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) December 31, 2014
Chavis takes over play-calling duties from Mark Snyder, who was not retained after LSU's 23-17 victory over Texas A&M at Kyle Field on Thanksgiving night. Chavis inherits a defense that ranked 102nd nationally in total defense (449.0 ypg), 72nd in scoring defense (27.3 ppg), 112th in rushing defense (223.5 ypg), 64th in team defense passing efficiency (127.49), and 118th in turnovers gained (7 fumble recoveries, 5 interceptions). However, Chavis will have a young defensive group to work with as 11 out of the 15 players that recorded a defensive statistic in Texas A&M's Liberty Bowl win over West Virginia will return in 2015.
John Chavis is considered to be one of, if not the, best defensive coordinators in college football. Chavis, 58, has been an SEC defensive coordinator for the past 20 seasons. Before joining the LSU coaching staff in 2009 as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach, Chavis was a part of Phillip Fulmer's Tennessee coaching staff where he served in the same capacity. Chavis joined Tennessee's staff in 1989 as defensive line coach before becoming defensive coordinator in 1995 under Fulmer and transitioning to coach linebackers. Chavis played for Tennessee from 1976-1978 where he walked-on as a defensive lineman. Chavis had 74 tackles and 2 sacks in his Volunteer career. Chavis is also known as "Chief" due to his Native American heritage.
It's one of the reasons he is among the top defensive coordinators in all of college football. He's Mr. Fix-It. For 20 years, first at Tennessee and now at LSU for the last six seasons, Chavis has structured defenses that have consistently performed well in a changing world of football.
"You talk to people in the coaching profession and you find out very quickly what a great reputation John has," said Fulmer, who became Tennessee's head coach in 1993 and elevated Chavis from linebacker coach to defensive coordinator two years later.
"He's a bright guy who stays ahead of the game. He did a fantastic job for me and he's done a fantastic job at LSU."
Chavis runs a 4-3 defensive scheme, and likes to isolate edge rushers at the end of the line of scrimmage in an over front. The biggest scheme change for Texas A&M will come in the secondary, where the corners under Chavis play press-man coverage with little safety help. Instead, safties take on a much larger role in the defense as they are expected to play both soft coverage as well as man in some spread situations. Chavis will also utilize numerous personnel groupings and sub-packages that A&M fans were not used to seeing under Mark Snyder. Here is a good read on how Chavis builds defenses from SB Nation's Ian Boyd.
Chavis could make additional coaching changes to the Texas A&M defensive staff. Texas A&M linebacker coach Mark Hagen served as the interim defensive coordinator during the Aggies' Liberty Bowl victory over West Virginia. Terry Price serves as defensive line coach and Terry Joseph just joined the staff as defensive back coach this season.