Taking a look at Michigan Wolverines football new assistant coach Maurice Linguist's track record.
football Edit

Who Is Maurice Linguist? Getting To Know U-M's New Co-Defensive Coordinator

It was reported yesterday that Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh would be hiring Dallas Cowboys secondary coach Maurice Linguist to serve as the Maize and Blue's new co-defensive coordinator, alongside Mike Macdonald.

The hiring of Linguist continues the revamped staff movement Michigan has undergone this offseason, in what appears to be an attempt to get some younger faces and energetic recruiters in the building.

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Michigan Wolverines football co-DC Maurice Linguist
New Michigan Wolverines football co-DC Maurice Linguist played his college ball at Baylor.
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So who exactly is Linguist? The 36-year old Dallas native played safety at Baylor from 2003-06 and got his coaching career started immediately after that, serving as a graduate assistant while working with the Bears' safeties in 2007.

Defensive backs and safeties have been Linguist's calling card ever since, with the 36-year old having made seven different coaching stops since departing Baylor. Linguist spent the 2008 campaign at Valdosta State of the FCS level, serving as its defensive backs/special teams coach.

He then spent three years (2009-11) coaching safeties at James Madison (also an FCS school), before returning to the FBS to coach Buffalo from 2012-13. He led the Bulls' defensive backs in 2012 and was given the title of defensive passing game coordinator in 2013.

Buffalo was where Linguist's secondary coaching acumen really began to shine through. The Bulls' secondary finished 31st nationally against the pass in 2012, and second in the MAC.

Opponents only completed 55.4 percent of their passes that year, which was 20th in the country and first in the MAC. Buffalo's defense then finished 38th nationally against the pass in 2013, but 11th in opponent completion percentage (52).

Linguist spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with Iowa State, serving as the Cyclones' defensive backs coach in '14 and their defensive passing game coordinator in '15. The numbers weren't pretty either year in Ames (ISU finished 122nd against the pass in 2014 and 112th in 2015), but it's also worth noting how disastrous of a spot the program was in at the time.

The Cyclones went 2-10 in '14 and 3-9 in '15 in Paul Rhoads' final two years on the job, before current head coach Matt Campbell took over in 2016.

Linguist then headed to Starkville, Miss., to spend one season with the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 2016, serving as their safeties coach under head man Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs' pass defense finished 120th nationally that year, though the defense as a whole picked off 14 passes to tie for 35th in the country.

The Dallas native moved on to Minnesota after that, where he coached the Gophers' defensive backs under head man P.J. Fleck in 2017. The club posted very impressive numbers under Linguist's tutelage, finishing 11th nationally against the pass and third in the Big Ten, allowing just 174.5 passing yards per game.

He then returned back to his home state of Texas to lead Texas A&M's cornerbacks in 2018 and 2019. Linguist's first go-round in College Station in 2018 was a rough one, with the Aggies concluding 98th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game.

They showed immense improvement the following year though, ending up 41st in the country against the pass. Opponents also completed just 54.6 percent of their throws against the Aggies, which was good for 18th nationally.

Linguist spent the 2020 campaign with the Dallas Cowboys, coaching their defensive backs and marking his first season in the NFL. Dallas finished 11th in the sport this past season in passing yards allowed per game, yielding 227.6.

Opponents also completed 63.9 percent of their passes against the Cowboys, which checked in 13th in the NFL (out of 32 teams).

New Michigan Wolverines football co-DC Maurice Linguist
Michigan Wolverines football co-DC Maurice Linguist (left) during his playing days at Baylor. (AP Images)
Maurice Linguist's Coaching Resume Since 2012 (Which is When he Returned to the FBS Full Time)
Year Place Position Coached Pass Defense's National Rank



Defensive Backs

No. 31



Defensive Passing Game Coordinator

No. 38


Iowa State

Defensive Backs

No. 122


Iowa State

Defensive Passing Game Coordinator

No. 112


Mississippi State


No. 120



Defensive Backs

No. 11


Texas A&M


No. 98


Texas A&M


No. 41


Dallas Cowboys

Defensive Backs

No. 11*

* — The 2020 season was Linguist's only campaign in the NFL, with the Cowboys' secondary finishing 11th out of 32 teams.


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