Report: BYU To Hire Weber State’s Jay Hill As Defensive Coordinator

Dec 6, 2022, 10:02 PM | Updated: 10:36 pm
Jay Hill, Weber State, BYU Football...
Reports indicate that BYU has hired Weber State head coach Jay Hill to be the next defensive coordinator. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football is hiring Weber State head coach Jay Hill to take over as defensive coordinator. ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported the news.

Landing Jay Hill is a massive pull for BYU as it transitions into the Big 12 Conference in 2023. Hill compiled a 68-39 record in nine seasons as the headman at Weber State. He led the Wildcats to six FCS Playoff appearances in Ogden.

Hill inherits a BYU defense that struggled in 2022

Hill takes over a BYU defense near the bottom nationally in many metrics. The Cougars were 93rd nationally in total defense, allowing 409.7 yards, 98th in rush defense (174.0), and 100th in scoring defense, giving up 30 points per game.

During Hill’s time at Weber State, he has had seasons where he led the Wildcat defense. In the process, he became the winningest coach in Weber State football history.

Hill replaces former defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki who stepped down last week. When Tuiaki stepped down, BYU announced that once the defensive coordinator was in place, he would work with Sitake to fill any defensive needs.

Earlier this week, reports indicated that Boise State assistant coach Kelly Poppinga could join BYU’s defensive staff.

The addition of Hill to BYU’s staff comes at a critical time for the Cougars. One, the Transfer Portal is open; two, BYU has a big official visit weekend lined up for 2023 prospects, as the early signing period opens up later this month.

The KSL Sports Zone’s Patrick Kinahan said on pulling in Jay Hill, “BYU making big-time financial commitment to Jay Hill. Probably the highest they’ve offered an assistant.” It’s reported to be at $1 million per year.

Who is Jay Hill?

Before working at Weber State, Hill was a longtime assistant at the University of Utah. Hill was on Kyle Whittingham’s staff at Utah from 2005 to 2013. Before 2005, Hill was a graduate assistant for Ron McBride and Urban Meyer with the Utes.

On the initial Defensive Coordinator big board KSL Sports published, we noted that Hill had been a popular coaching carousel name for FBS head coach positions. During the 2021 carousel, Hill was linked to the Arizona Wildcats search that eventually led to the hiring of Jedd Fisch. Also, Hill’s name was mentioned as a potential candidate for the UNLV search during the current carousel.

Instead, BYU lands Hill and arms Kalani Sitake with a coach with successful head coaching experience.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s BYU football coverage on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Report: BYU To Hire Weber State’s Jay Hill As Defensive Coordinator