Stanford has hired Oklahoma defensive line coach Diron Reynolds to fill the same position at Stanford, according to a source close to the team. The news comes just a day after Stanford’s previous defensive line coach of six years, Randy Hart, announced his retirement from coaching on Tuesday.
Reynolds only spent one season at Oklahoma, where his defensive line was a key part of a stout defense that led the Sooners to a College Football Playoff berth, finished second in the Big 12 in rushing defense — allowing just 161.69 yards per game — and finished eighth in the country with 39 sacks.
— Diron Reynolds (@Coach_Diron) February 11, 2016
Prior to his one-year stint at Oklahoma, Reynolds spent 2014 as a defensive assistant at Stanford, which means that some of Stanford’s defensive linemen will already have experience working with their new coach in the past.
He will bring 11 years of NFL coaching experience back to The Farm, having spent five seasons with the Indianapolis Colts (defensive quality control), a season with the Miami Dolphins (defensive line) and five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings (assistant defensive line). He was on the coaching staff for the Colts’ victory in Super Bowl XLI at the end of the 2006-07 NFL season.
According to the Sports Illustrated report, Reynolds’ move will bring him back closer to his family, which remained in California while he moved to Oklahoma for his job with the Sooners.
Reynolds also brings six years of collegiate coaching experience to the table, as he spent four seasons at Wake Forest, his alma mater, as both a graduate assistant and outside linebackers coach from 1997-2000. He then spent the 2001 season at Indiana before returning to the collegiate game 13 years later with his 2014 stint at Stanford.
At Stanford, Reynolds will have large shoes to fill after the departure of the 46-year coaching veteran Hart, but will have ample talent to do so with the return of junior standouts Solomon Thomas and Harrison Phillips, as well as a skilled yet inexperienced corps of veterans and one of Stanford’s most exciting defensive line recruiting classes in recent memory.
Under Reynolds, Stanford will look to maintain its streak of six consecutive top-four finishes in the Pac-12 in rushing defense, including four consecutive seasons (2011-14) in which the Cardinal led the conference in the metric.
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dhpark ‘at’ stanford.edu.