Jen Smith on UK Football

Kentucky expected to fill football assistant spot with FIU’s House

Florida International defensive coordinator Matt House previously held the same position at Pittsburgh.
Florida International defensive coordinator Matt House previously held the same position at Pittsburgh. Media relations

Kentucky is getting close to hiring its next defensive assistant coach.

Florida International defensive coordinator Matt House is on UK’s campus this morning for a second interview with Coach Mark Stoops, the Herald-Leader has learned.

House, 37, was hired a year ago as Florida International’s defensive coordinator after two seasons as Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator where his defenses ranked No. 33 and No. 34 nationally. He was the secondary coach there for a season before being promoted.

Before going to Pitt, House spent several years in the NFL, first as a defensive quality control assistant with the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11 and as a special teams assistant with the Carolina Panthers in 2008.

If the hire is made official, House would replace outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Andy Buh, who left Kentucky in early April to take the defensive coordinator position at Maryland.

It isn’t yet clear if there would be a shuffling of the defensive staff with the addition of House, who previously coached the secondary at Pitt before taking over the linebackers his final season with the Panthers.

The Michigan State graduate worked as a graduate assistant with the Spartans in 2001 and 2002, working with defensive backs and the special teams unit.

Previously, Stoops had said that he was looking for a linebackers coach, either outside or inside, who could work alongside defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot.

“Coach Eliot is versatile enough, and we’ve gone back and forth just because Coach Eliot has so much experience with outside guys and d-ends coming from Florida State and the great things we did there,” Stoops said in April when he started his search for Buh’s replacement. “Fundamentally we need to get better at outside and inside, so we’ll see. We’re going to get the best coach we can, somebody with a strong special teams background as well.”

According to the USA Today sports salary database, House made $167,000 last season at Florida International. Before Buh left Kentucky, he recently had received a salary bump to go with a new title, going from $200,000 to $325,000 a season.

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader