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SMU names veteran coach Leavitt as new defensive coordinator

DALLAS (AP) Veteran coach Jim Leavitt has been named defensive coordinator at SMU.

It is the fourth college for Leavitt as a defensive coordinator since being linebackers coach for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14.

That followed his 13 seasons as the first head coach ever at South Florida, which went from independent status to five consecutive bowl games his last five seasons. USF, like SMU, is now a member of the American Athletic Conference.

SMU coach Sonny Dykes announced Leavitt's hiring on Wednesday.

The 64-year-old Leavitt replaces 37-year-old Kevin Kane, who left after three seasons as SMU's DC to become an assistant on the staff of new Illinois coach Bret Bielema.

Leavitt spent last season as defensive coordinator at FAU, after spending the previous year at Florida State as a defensive analyst then defensive line coach. He was also DC at Colorado (2015-16) and Oregon (2017-18).

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Updated January 27, 2021

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