UTEP hires Sam Houston State coach to be new defensive coordinator

EL PASO, Texas - Scott Stoker has accepted the defensive coordinator position at UTEP, according to a report in The Huntsville Item.

Stoker has been the defensive coordinator for Sam Houston State the past five seasons. UTEP tweeted on its Twitter football page today that an announcement would be made on Wednesday morning on who the defensive coordinator would be.

"I wouldn't have this opportunity if it wasn't for Sam Houston State University," Stoker said in the April 19 article. "I was fortunate that coach (Willie) Fritz kept me along for the ride. Sam Houston State has been beyond good to me and my family. It's a good opportunity, but it's also hard to leave, but this happens in coaching."

Stoker replaces Jeff Choate, who was hired as UTEP's defensive coordinator in early January and left earlier this month to be Florida's special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.

Scott Stoker's bio from Sam Houston State website

Scott Stoker is in his fifth season as Sam Houston defensive coordinator and linebacker coach, building a defensive unit that helped propel the Bearkats to back-to-back Southland Conference titles and NCAA Division I Championship finals appearances in 2011 and 2012.

The 2012 Bearkats led the Southland in rushing defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense and ranked sixth nationally in rushing defense.

Following the Bearkats' 14-1 Southland Conference championship season that concluded with an appearance in the NCAA Division I National Championship game, Stoker was named NCAA Football Championship Subdivision "Defensive Coordinator of the Year" by

The Bearkat defense finished the 2011 season ranked among the top five nationally in five statistics -- rushing defense (No. 1); scoring defense and turnover margin (No. 2); total defense (No. 3) and pass efficiency defense (No. 4). Sam Houston led the Southland Conference in all five categories.

In 2010, the Bearkats ranked No. 9 nationally in rushing defense and No. 16 in quarterback sacks.

Since 2009, 14 Sam Houston defensive players have earned All-Southland Conference honors a total of 22 times.

Sam Houston safety Darnell Taylor was named as Southland "Defensive Player of the Year" in consecutive seasons in 2011 and 2012. Taylor along with defensive lineman J. T. Cleveland and defensive back Dax Swanson have earned All-America honors.

Stoker compiled a 43-38 record in seven seasons as head coach at Northwestern State University, leading the Demons to the 2004 Southland Conference co-championship and to NCAA Division I playoffs in 2002 and 2004. His teams set 49 school records were broken (23 offensive, 10 defensive and 13 special teams). The Demons also set five NCAA national records and 10 Southland Conference marks.

He was recognized by American Football Coaches Monthly as one of the nation's Top 10 recruiters. Three of his Demon squads finished among the top 15 nationally in total defense and rushing defense including No. 2 national rankings in both categories in 2004.

Stoker worked an assistant coach at McNeese State from 1994 to 2002 for teams that earned six national playoff berths, reached the 1995 national semifinals and played in the NCAA Division I national championship game in 1997. He served as offensive coordinator for the Cowboys in 1999 and as defensive coordinator in 2000-01.

The Alexandria, La., native was born March 6, 1968. His father, Butch, was one of Louisiana's most successful high school coaches for four decades at Alexandria High School.

Stoker was an All-State quarterback for Alexandria and, as quarterback at Northwestern State, led the Demons to the 1988 Southland Conference championship and an NCAA playoff berth. He finished his playing career as the Demons' single-season and career passing leader, throwing for 4,801 yards from 1986-89. He also set a career record for total offense with 5,059 yards.

Stoker and his wife Kim have three children Jennifer, Carlie and Zoe.

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