Duke Now

Duke football promotes two to serve as defensive coordinators

Ben Albert will be one of Duke’s co-defensive coordinators.
Ben Albert will be one of Duke’s co-defensive coordinators.

Duke has promoted two of its assistant defensive coaches to co-defensive coordinators.

The school announced on Friday that safeties coach Matt Guerrieri and Ben Albert, associate defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, will be co-defensive coordinators.

The two replace Jim Knowles, who accepted a defensive coordinator position at Oklahoma State last month. Knowles had been Duke’s defensive coordinator since 2010.

Last season, the Blue Devils allowed 20.2 points per game last season, finishing No. 3 in the ACC, while going 7-6 overall and 3-5 in league play. That’s the fewest points per game the Blue Devils have allowed since 1977.

Guerrieri, who joined Duke’s football staff in 2012, was also Duke’s recruiting coordinator for defense. Guerrieri graduated from Davidson College in 2011, and got his master’s from Duke in 2014.

He has coached Duke’s safeties over the past five seasons, and helped produce Jeremy Cash, a three-time All-American choice.

He also helped develop DeVon Edwards and Jeremy McDuffie.

Albert joined Duke’s staff in 2016. Duke’s defensive line has flourished under Albert. Duke was one of four schools in the ACC to have four players record 9 tackles for loss last season.

In 2016, the defensive line was 46th in the country in sacks (29) and 37th in sacks per game (2.42).

Other additions

Zac Roper was also promoted from associate head coach to deputy head coach.

Derek Jones was promoted from assistant head coach to associate head coach. Lanier Goethie was hired as the linebackers coach.

From 2012-15, Goethie worked on the staff at Delta State (Miss.) University, coaching the linebackers while serving as the program’s recruiting coordinator.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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