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LSU Football Promoting Within & Hiring New Coaches

LSU is expected to promote senior defensive analyst John Jancek to the full-time staff to coach Jack linebackers and pass rushers; sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday.

Sources also confirmed that former UConn head coach Bob Diaco would come aboard as an analyst, where he’s expected to help with the Tigers’ special teams in addition to other areas.

The moves are responses to head coach Brian Kelly moving special teams coordinator/recruiting coordinator Brian Polian to an executive off-field role, which had been in the works for a while but was first reported last week. 

To replace Polian, Kelly interviewed multiple strong candidates to head special teams, but instead chose to promote Jancek while splitting special teams duties among multiple coaches on the staff. It is possible Jancek also receives the title of coordinator, but sources tell FootballScoop multiple coaches will share responsibilities for various teams roles. 

Jancek joined Kelly’s staff as a senior analyst last year and brings decades of coordinator experience to the on-field staff. He previously headed defenses for Wayne State, Hillsdale College, Grand Valley State (under Kelly), Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Colorado State. 

Diaco spent 2014-16 at UConn and previously coordinated defenses for Kelly at  Cincinnati and Notre Dame, in addition to Nebraska, Louisiana Tech and Purdue. Before that, he coordinated special teams for Western Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and Virginia. He spent 2022 as the defensive line coach for the New Jersey Generals of the USFL.

Bob Diaco is joining Brian Kelly’s staff at LSU as an analyst, according to reports Tuesday. Diaco worked under Kelly from 2010-13 at Notre Dame as the program’s defensive coordinator and most recently served as the defensive line coach for the USFL’s New Jersey Generals.

Diaco was the defensive coordinator for the abbreviated 2020 season at Purdue and was not retained by then-head coach Jeff Brohm. Purdue yielded an average of 5.4 yards-per-play and 399 yards-per-game that season. It was Diaco’s first and only season with the Boilermakers after coming over from spending one campaign at Louisiana Tech.

With the Bulldogs in 2019, Diaco led college football’s No. 2 defense in the red zone — second to only Florida (20 points) — allowing 33 points inside the 20-yard line. Louisiana Tech also had the nation’s No. 31 scoring defense, giving up 21.8 points per game.

John Jancek, the former defensive coordinator at Georgia and Tennessee, has been promoted to LSU’s special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach, head coach Brian Kelly announced on Tuesday.

“John is a veteran SEC coordinator who possesses a great deal of knowledge as it relates to the scheme we teach,” Kelly said. “He’s earned this opportunity and we are excited about this new challenge for him.”

Jancek, who joined the Kelly’s staff at LSU in 2022 as senior defensive analyst, has over three decades of college football coaching experience. He’s also been part of Kelly’s coaching staffs at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan.

“I’m super excited about the opportunity to be back with Coach Kelly,” Jancek said. “I love his vision and the way he leads the program. LSU is great place and I couldn’t be happier for the chance to remain here and be part of what we are building.

“I have been involved with special teams my entire career so the opportunity to lead our special teams is something I’m very excited about. We have a great group of young men on our team and I can’t wait to get started.”

Jancek’s coaching career includes stops at Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Cincinnati among others. He coached linebackers at Georgia from 2005-08 before being elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2009. In his five seasons at Georgia from 2005-09, the Bulldogs won 48 games, made a pair of BCS Bowl appearances, won the 2005 SEC title and finished ranked in the Top 10 three times.

He followed that with three seasons as defensive coordinator at Cincinnati from 2010-12 helping lead the Bearcats to back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2011 and 2012.