Sidelines with John Clay

New Kentucky football assistant Matt House lists Steve Spagnuolo as greatest influence

Matt House has served as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh and at Florida International. He will coach inside linebackers and special teams at Kentucky.
Matt House has served as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh and at Florida International. He will coach inside linebackers and special teams at Kentucky. University of Pittsburgh media relations

Kentucky’s newest staff addition brings a lot of experience to the job. Matt House, the new inside linebackers and special teams coach, was defensive coordinator each of the last three seasons before agreeing to join Mark Stoops in Lexington.

In fact, House was expected to enter his second year as defensive coordinator under Ron Turner at Florida International before accepting Stoops’ offer. Before that, House was the defensive coordinator for two seasons under Paul Chryst at Pittsburgh.

At Pitt, House’s defense ranked No. 33 nationally in total defense in 2013, giving up an average of 367.5 yards per game. In 2014, Pittsburgh ranked 34th nationally in total defense, allowing 359.8 yards per game. When Chryst left for Wisconsin, where he inherited Dave Armada as the DC, House was hired by Turner at FIU, where the defense was ranked 76th nationally, allowing 406.1 yards per game.

Appearing on The Leach Report with Tom Leach on Monday, House said his greatest coaching influence is NFL coach Steve Spagnuolo, whom House spent three years (2009-11) with as a defensive quality control assistant with the St. Louis Rams. Prior to that, Spagnulo was defensive coordinator for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. He is now back with the Giants as the defensive coordinator.

One of Cats’ key coaches is a guy often seen, barely heard

House’s coaching career started as a graduate assistant under Bobby Williams at Michigan State in 2001. He coached defensive backs for two years with John Bunting at North Carolina in 2003-04. (Ex-UK player and assistant Chad Scott was a running back on those Tar Heel teams.) In 2005, House was hired as defensive line coach at Gardner-Webb.

In 2006 and 2007, House coached defensive backs for Turner Gill at Buffalo University. He made the jump in 2008, joining John Fox’s staff as special teams assistant with the Carolina Panthers. He was hired by Spagnuolo with the Rams in 2009. Spagnulo was fired after going just 10-38 in three seasons. House then was hired as defensive backs coach at Pitt, then elevated to defensive coordinator the next season.

Here’s a game-by-game look at House’s three seasons as defensive coordinator (2013-14 at Pittsburgh; 2015 at Florida International). Key: RA = rushing attempts; RY = rushing yards; YPR = yards per rush; C = pass completions; A = pass attempts; PY = passing yards; YPA = yards per pass attempt; Plays = total plays; TY = total yards; YPP = yards per play.

Matt House game-by-game as defensive coordinator

Year

Opp

RA

RY

YPR

C

A

PY

YPA

Plays

TY

YPP

2013

Florida St

34

156

4.59

27

29

377

13.00

63

533

8.46

2013

New Mexico

52

213

4.10

9

17

57

3.35

69

270

3.91

2013

@Duke

36

213

5.92

22

33

319

9.67

69

532

7.71

2013

Virginia

35

65

1.86

15

37

123

3.32

72

188

2.61

2013

@Virginia Tech

38

76

2.00

19

34

239

7.03

72

315

4.38

2013

Old Dominion

20

93

4.65

31

53

312

5.89

73

405

5.55

2013

@Navy

47

220

4.68

8

18

105

5.83

65

325

5.00

2013

@Georgia Tech

53

276

5.21

5

10

84

8.40

63

360

5.71

2013

Notre Dame

24

138

5.75

18

39

318

8.15

63

456

7.24

2013

North Carolina

35

149

4.26

15

27

173

6.41

62

322

5.19

2013

@Syracuse

39

148

3.79

18

28

159

5.68

67

307

4.58

2013

Miami

34

180

5.29

17

28

296

10.57

62

476

7.68

2013

vsBowling Green

34

10

0.29

21

33

279

8.45

67

289

4.31

2014

Delaware

31

33

1.06

9

16

31

1.94

47

64

1.36

2014

@Boston College

34

142

4.18

10

28

134

4.79

62

276

4.45

2014

@FIU

33

57

1.73

17

35

236

6.74

68

293

4.31

2014

Iowa

35

133

3.80

12

18

178

9.89

53

311

5.87

2014

Akron

36

169

4.69

17

35

213

6.09

71

382

5.38

2014

@Virginia

43

225

5.23

10

17

121

7.12

60

346

5.77

2014

Virginia Tech

22

26

1.18

26

45

265

5.89

67

291

4.34

2014

Georgia Tech

64

465

7.27

5

12

147

12.25

76

612

8.05

2014

Duke

27

172

6.37

23

31

266

8.58

58

438

7.55

2014

@North Carolina

43

226

5.26

23

40

276

6.90

83

502

6.05

2014

Syracuse

29

106

3.66

10

25

149

5.96

54

255

4.72

2014

@Miami

28

125

4.46

22

45

296

6.58

73

421

5.77

2014

vsHouston

40

212

5.30

15

25

274

10.96

65

486

7.48

2015

@Central Florida

30

46

1.53

23

34

249

7.32

64

295

4.61

2015

@Indiana

52

205

3.94

19

33

234

7.09

85

439

5.16

2015

NC Central

23

38

1.65

18

36

171

4.75

59

209

3.54

2015

@La Tech

42

246

5.86

18

32

226

7.06

74

472

6.38

2015

@Umass

39

132

3.38

32

43

363

8.44

82

495

6.04

2015

UTEP

47

150

3.19

12

24

117

4.88

71

267

3.76

2015

@Middle Tenn

43

200

4.65

17

26

261

10.04

69

461

6.68

2015

Old Dominion

33

297

9.00

18

34

201

5.91

67

498

7.43

2015

@Fla Atlantic

49

229

4.67

16

25

168

6.72

74

397

5.36

2015

Charlotte

48

131

2.73

25

38

264

6.95

86

395

4.59

2015

@Marshall

39

289

7.41

17

26

174

6.69

65

463

7.12

2015

Western Ky

37

253

6.84

16

21

224

10.67

58

477

8.22

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