RUSTON, La. (Feb. 19, 2013) – Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz announced Tuesday that Kim Dameron has been hired as the team’s defensive coordinator.
Dameron, an experienced and creative defensive coach who has been responsible for several of the nation’s top defenses, joins the Louisiana Tech Family after spending two years at Cornell, serving as safeties coach in 2011 and defensive coordinator during the 2012 campaign.
“Kim Dameron brings a lot of experience with 14 years as a defensive coordinator,” Holtz said. “On a personal level, I have known him for a long time as he played and began his coaching career under my father at Arkansas. From a recruiting standpoint, he brings great ties to the area to our program and I am excited to have him on our staff.”
He joined the Cornell staff in the spring of 2011 and had previously worked with Big Red head coach Kent Austin for two seasons at Ole Miss.
“My wife and I are extremely excited to come back to North Louisiana and the Ark-La-Tex area,” Dameron said. “I have known about Louisiana Tech for years and its reputation nationally, along with the school joining Conference USA with a new head coach in Skip Holtz, makes this a very exciting opportunity. I have had a smile on my face since the first day I got here and I don’t expect that smile to come off my face anytime soon.”
In his first season with the Big Red in 2011, Dameron relied on a pair of first-year safeties, Josh Barut and Andrew Nelson, to do a bulk of the work. He helped develop the duo quickly, with both ranking among the top 12 in tackles in Ivy League games in 2011. His young defense was gutted due to injuries, only putting his starting unit on the field for one complete half all season. Despite that, his defense allowed 10 points or fewer in two of the team’s first three games of the year. Cornell’s top 12 tacklers were all underclassmen, with its top four all coming from the freshmen and sophomore classes.
Dameron spent three seasons with Ole Miss as safeties coach and saw two of his charges drafted by the NFL. In 2009, his pass defense unit ranked 11th in the NCAA in pass efficiency defense and 15th in pass defense. In the season prior to his arrival, the Rebels ranked 12th in the SEC in total defense and 11th in scoring defense, marks that jumped to fifth-best after his first season.
Prior to his arrival at Ole Miss, Dameron had served three seasons as defensive coordinator at Louisiana-Monroe. During his time there, ULM became bowl eligible for the first time in 2007 and won at Alabama. His 2006 squad allowed the fewest points in the Sun Belt and ranked third nationally in turnovers gained and ninth in interceptions.
Dameron had previous stops as defensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin and Eastern Illinois for nationally ranked Football Championship Subdivision programs, as well as at Cincinnati for a Bowl Championship Subdivision bowl team in 1997. Like Austin, Dameron spent time in the Canadian Football League as the secondary coach for the Toronto Argonauts in 1999. That squad ranked first nationally in the CFL in total defense, scoring defense and passing defense. It was second in rushing defense.
Dameron began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Lou Holtz at his alma mater, Arkansas, after earning his degree. Dameron was a four-year player for Lou Holtz from 1979-82 at defensive back and wide receiver. As a Razorback, he participated in four bowl games, including the 1979 Sugar Bowl, and was named Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Texas A&M in 1979.
He then continued his coaching career at Missouri State, managing the defensive secondary and special teams from 1986-91. The Bears were the 1989 and 1990 Gateway Conference champions. The 1989 squad was an NCAA quarterfinalist, while the 1990 squad advanced to the NCAA first round of the I-AA playoffs.
After spending 1992 as the defensive secondary coach at UNLV alongside Louisiana Tech defensive line coach Stan Eggen, Dameron served as the defensive coordinator at Murray State from 1993-95. The Racers won the 1995 Ohio Valley Conference championship. That year MSU was nationally ranked third in total defense, second in pass efficiency defense, 10th in rushing defense, and sixth in scoring defense. He coached first team All-American defensive back William Hampton.
Dameron moved on to Cincinnati in 1996 to take a position as the defensive secondary coach. The 1996 squad ranked 13th nationally in total defense and 14th in pass efficiency defense. In 1997, he was promoted to defensive coordinator. The Bearcats won the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, defeating Utah State. That season the defense was ranked fifth nationally in rushing defense and 33rd in total defense. In 1998, he added special teams and academic liaison duties. Four former Bearcats under Dameron's tutelage went on to the NFL.
Dameron and his wife, Debbie, have one daughter, Krystie.
His hiring is pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.