Matt House flirted with overtures about becoming a defensive coordinator in the Southeastern Conference. A year after turning down both Tennessee and Auburn, House couldn’t say no to LSU.
First-year LSU head coach Brian Kelly reached into the NFL to land one of the key pieces of his coaching staff with the hiring of House off the defensive staff of the Kansas City Chiefs, LSU released Tuesday evening.
House has been the linebackers coach for the past three seasons in Kansas City under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo where the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV in 2019.
“It is an honor to join Coach Kelly’s staff at LSU,” House said in a university release. “I firmly believe in Coach Kelly’s vision and look forward to getting to work. I am confident there are many exciting times ahead for the Tiger football family. Our staff will work tirelessly to develop our young men both on and off the field as we set a championship standard – We will develop genuine relationships with our players, our staff, and the wonderful people in the state of Louisiana.”
Kelly moved from Notre Dame after 12 seasons to LSU where he was announced as the Tigers new coach on Dec. 1. He’s since hired a total of five on-field coaches in House, associate head coach Frank Wilson, defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks, special team’s coordinator Brian Polian and retained offensive line coach Brad Davis.
House will continue in his duties with Kansas City, which has clinched the AFC West, until the NFL season is complete before beginning in his official capacity at LSU.
“Matt checks every box we’re looking for in a defensive coordinator,” Kelly said in the university release. “He’s led elite SEC defenses, recruited and developed All-conference and All-American performers at multiple positions, and garnered ample experience in both the NFL and as a coordinator at multiple collegiate stops.
“He possesses a great understanding on how to defend the type of offenses we will face each week in our conference, and his ability to put players in position to make plays aligns perfectly with the identity that we want to develop with our defense,” Kelly said. “I’m excited that he’s joining our staff as we work toward building a championship program at LSU.”
Former LSU standout and Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu enthusiastically endorsed House’s hiring.
“I’m excited for coach House and all of tiger nation! This man loves football & teaching! One of the best I’ve been around,” Mathieu said on his Twitter account. “This tiger defense will be well coached from day one! Let’s all buy in!!! FOREVER LSU!”
House, a native of Harrison, Mich. and Michigan State graduate, has been a part of an improved defense in Kansas City this season which ranks in the top five in points allowed (20.4) and takeaways (28).
House has a total of six years of experience as a defensive coordinator at the collegiate level, including three years at Kentucky (2016-18) where in 2014 the Wildcats were sixth nationally in points allowed, limiting six opponents to 14 points or less. He also spent a season as special teams coordinator/inside linebackers coach in his first season in Lexington.
House also served as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh (2012-14) where he coached former NFL great Aaron Donald along with being the defensive coordinator for a year (2015) at Florida International.
House’s NFL experience also includes stops with the St. Louis Rams (2009-11) as a defensive quality control/assistant linebackers coach along with a season with the Carolina Panthers (2008) coaching special teams and serving as a strength and conditioning assistant.
Part of House’s college coaching journey was spent at the University of Buffalo (2006-07) as defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator and also coached on the defensive side of the football at both Gardner-Webb (2005) and North Carolina (2003-04).
“I would like to thank the Kansas City Chiefs organization,” House said. “Specifically, Chiefs Chairman and CEO, Mr. Hunt, Coach Reid and Coach Spagnuolo for all of their support along with the memorable past few years we have enjoyed together. The Chiefs organization exemplifies class in every way. Coach Reid is a Hall of Famer for many reasons, and I cannot thank him enough for an incredible experience. I leave behind so many special people in Kansas City that will be lifelong friends. It is not over just yet though and we will finish this season strong with the Chiefs. My wife, Jessi, our family and I look forward to joining the LSU family soon, and we are thankful for this opportunity – Geaux Tigers!”