Starting up front: LSU head coach Brian Kelly continues to rebuild defensive staff with hiring of former Tiger Bo Davis to coach defensive line

Former LSU noseguard Bo Davis has been hired by Tigers head coach Brian Kelly away from the University of Texas to coach the defensive line. PHOTO BY: On3 Sports

Former LSU All-SEC nose guard Bo Davis, who is considered one of the top defensive line coaches in college football, is returning to Baton Rouge and will serve as defensive line coach for the Tigers, head coach Brian Kelly announced on Wednesday. 

Davis joins the LSU staff after spending the past three seasons at Texas where he helped the Longhorns reach the College Football Playoffs in 2023 with one of the nation’s top defenses. Davis spent six years with the Longhorns, first as defensive tackles coach from 2011-13 and then as defensive line coach from 2021-23. 

Davis’ hiring is contingent on a satisfactory background check and approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Davis, who had one year remaining on a contract that paid him $1 million, played for the Tigers in the early 1990s, served as a graduate assistant with the football program from 1995-97 and was a member of the strength and conditioning staff when LSU won the 2003 national championship.

Davis returns to LSU with a history of developing some of the top defensive linemen in college football. In 12 years of coaching the defensive line in college football, Davis has produced 17 all-conference selections and seven all-Americans. He’s coached players who have won the Outland Trophy, the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 and Conference USA, along with the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year.  He’s also had finalists for the Outland, Nagurski and Bednarik Awards.

“As a defensive line coach Bo brings a wealth of proven success at both the professional and collegiate level throughout his distinguished career,” Kelly said. “Additionally, coach Davis is an outstanding recruiter and developer of the players in his charge. I am excited to welcome back to LSU coach Bo Davis.”

Davis has been part of three national championships during his collegiate career, winning the 2003 title at LSU along with championships at Alabama in 2009 and 2015 as the defensive line coach for the Crimson Tide.  

Davis’ 2023 Texas defensive line featured T’Vondre Sweat, a consensus all-American and the recipient of the Outland Trophy as the nation ‘s top interior lineman, along with Byron Murphy, who earned Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year.

In 2023, the Texas defense allowed only 82.4 yards rushing a contest and held opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in eight games.

In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Davis coached in the NFL for five years most recently as the defensive line coach for the Detroit Lions from 2018-20. Davis also spent the 2006 season with the Miami Dolphins as assistant defensive line coach and the 2016 as a defensive assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

In 2017 as the defensive line coach at UTSA, Marcus Davenport earned Conference USA Player of the Year honors and went on to become a first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints.

Davis served two stints at Alabama, coaching the defensive line from 2007-10 and then again in 2014-15. In his first stop with the Crimson Tide, Davis developed nose guard Terrence Cody into a two-time consensus all-American, and a finalist for the Lombardi, Nagurski and Bednarik Awards.

During his second stretch with the Crimson Tide, Alabama’s defense led the nation in rushing in 2015, allowing only 75.7 yards per game. Davis’ 2015 defensive line featured first-team all-American A’Shawn Robinson, who was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, along with Jonathan Allen, a first round 2017 first-round NFL Draft pick.

Davis first joined the Texas staff in 2011, coaching defensive tackles for Mack Brown for three years before returning to Alabama in 2014. 

Davis played nose guard for LSU from 1990-92, earning All-SEC honors as a senior. A native of Magee, Miss., Davis graduated from LSU in 1993 and served as a graduate assistant in the strength and conditioning program from 1995-97.

Davis returned to LSU as assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2002-05, a span the Tigers 41-11 during.

Davis and his wife, Omeika, have two sons, Beau and Jackson, and a daughter, Juliana.

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