Bob Diaco Season 2023
Bob Diaco, the winner of the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2012, joined the LSU staff in the spring of 2023 as a senior defensive analyst for the Tigers. He served in that capacity until August when he took over as special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach due to defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey stepping away from the program to deal with a personal health matter.
Diaco is a former head coach at Connecticut and is reuniting with LSU coach Brian Kelly for the fourth time.
Prior to joining the Tiger staff, Diaco coached the defensive line for the New Jersey Generals in the USFL for two seasons.
A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Diaco previously served on Kelly’s staff at Central Michigan (2005), Cincinnati (2009) and Notre Dame (2010-13).
In 2005 at Central Michigan, Diaco was the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Chippewas who went 6-5 and had only the second winning season for the school in over a decade.
After two years coaching linebackers and special teams at Virginia, Diaco rejoined Kelly in 2009 at Cincinnati, helping the Bearcats to a 12-0 mark during the regular season and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl.
From 2010 to 2013, Diaco was regarded as one of the nation’s top defensive coordinators during his time at Notre Dame when he led the Irish defense under Kelly. At Notre Dame, Diaco helped lead the Irish to multiple bowl appearances, including the 2012 national championship game, while also being named the winner of the Broyles Award (nation’s top assistant coach) in 2012 and a semifinalist in 2011. In addition to his defensive coordinator role, Diaco also held the title of assistant head coach in 2012 and 2013.
In 2012, Diaco’s Irish defense ranked among the top 10 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 12 different categories as the school played in the BCS National Championship Game and finished with a 12-1 record.
The defense led the way to the BCS title game in 2012, as Diaco’s unit ranked second in the FBS in scoring defense allowing just 12.77 points per game. Notre Dame only allowed 15 offensive touchdowns, four fewer than any other FBS school. The Irish held six opponents without an offensive touchdown and nine opponents to one or fewer offensive touchdown.
During his four seasons in South Bend, the Fighting Irish defense allowed an average of 19.08 points per game, which ranked as the ninth-best average over that time among FBS programs.
Diaco’s 2011 defense ranked in the top 30 in both scoring defense (24th, 20.7) and total defense (30th, 344.7). In his first season at Notre Dame in 2010, Diaco switched defensive schemes from a blitzing 4-3 defense the Irish utilized in 2009 and installed a 3-4 no-crease defense. Diaco’s defense became immediately better as the Irish allowed 5.69 fewer points per game and 40.5 fewer yards per game in 2010 than 2009.
He was named head coach at Connecticut in 2014 leading the Huskies for three years. During that span, the Huskies went 11-26 and played in the St. Petersburg Bowl in 2015.
Following three years as the head coach at Connecticut, Diaco was hired as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska (2017), followed by stops at Oklahoma (2018), Louisiana Tech (2019) and Purdue (2020). He served as the defensive coordinator at both Louisiana Tech and Purdue.
Diaco began his coaching career in 1996 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. He then served on the staffs at Western Illinois (1999-2000) as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach, Eastern Michigan (2001-2003) working with the same positions and Central Michigan (2005) as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Diaco was a two-time All-Big Ten selection at Iowa as a linebacker under Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry and was named the team’s co-MVP in 1995, while also starting in all 23 games over his junior and senior seasons.
Bob Diaco File
Year at LSU: First
Birthdate: February 19, 1973
Hometown: Cedar Grove, N.J.
College: Iowa (1995)
1996-97 Iowa (Graduate Assistant)
1999-2000 Western Illinois (Running Backs, Special Teams)
2001-03 Eastern Michigan (Running Backs, Special Teams, 2001; Linebackers, Special Teams, 2002; Outside Linebackers, Special Teams, 2003)
2004 Western Michigan (Linebackers, Special Teams)
2005 Central Michigan (Co-Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers)
2006-08 Virginia (Linebackers, Special Teams)
2009 Cincinnati (Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers)
2010-13 Notre Dame (Defensive Coordinator, Inside Linebackers)
2014-16 Connecticut (Head Coach)
2017 Nebraska (Defensive Coordinator)
2018 Oklahoma (Outside Linebackers)
2019 Louisiana Tech (Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers)
2020 Purdue (Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers)
2022-23 New Jersey Generals (Defensive Line)
2023 – LSU (Senior Defensive Analyst, spring 2023; Special Teams Coordinator, Outside Linebackers, Fall 2023)