Report: Minnesota DL coach Chad Wilt expected to take on DC role at IU

Minnesota defensive line coach Chad Wilt is leaving to take a “prominent” position at Indiana, according to Gopher Illustrated’s Ryan Burns.

“It’s expected that Wilt will have the title of defensive coordinator in some capacity at Indiana,” according to the report.

Wilt has coached defensive line for more than a decade, meaning he could take on that recently vacated role as well in addition to any coordinator duties.

It has been announced in the last few days that both defensive coordinator Charlton Warren and defensive line coach Kevin Peoples have departed the Indiana program.

Minnesota’s run defense ranked No. 8 nationally in 2021, a major jump from No. 102 in 2020.  21.5 of Minnesota’s 25 sacks in 2021 came from the defensive line.  The line had a hand in 7.5-of-8 total sacks in 2020.

Wilt helped recruit a pair of four-star defensive linemen that signed with Minnesota in December.

Wilt, who has nearly two decades of coaching experience, came to Minnesota after one year coaching the defensive line at Cincinnati under head coach Luke Fickell. He has also coached the defensive line at Army West Point, Maryland, Ball State, Richmond, Virginia, Liberty and Central Connecticut State.

During his lone year at Cincinnati, Wilt was part of a defensive staff which led the American Athletic Conference in total defense. The Bearcats posted 96 tackles for loss and 31 sacks on the season, as Cincinnati won 11 games for only the fourth time in school history. Cincinnati allowed only 138.6 rushing yards per game and yielded only 15 rushing touchdowns in 14 games.

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Wilt’s time at Army was impactful as the Black Knights went 29-10 from 2016-18.  Army, which finished ranked No. 19 in the AP poll, set a program record with 11 wins in 2018 and won the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s prestigious Lambert Trophy. The Black Knights were ranked first nationally in third down conversion percentage and fourth down conversion percentage while ranking No. 8 in total defense and No. 10 in scoring defense.

Wilt spend two seasons coaching the defensive line at Maryland prior to his time at West Point.  In 2015, the Terrapin defensive line totaled 31.5 of the teams 35 sacks, which ranked 14th in the country. Two players from the line were selected in the 2016 National Football League Draft. Yannick Ngakoue was a third-round selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars and Quinton Jefferson was picked by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round.  Ngakoue was second in the nation with 13.5 and was named All-Big Ten First Team. Jefferson was named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention and was selected to play in the Senior Bowl.

In his first season at Maryland, Wilt tutored one of the best pass rushers in school history in Andre Monroe. The senior totaled 10.5 sacks to finish second in the Big Ten and earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors. Monroe set the school’s all-time sack record with 25.0.  Wilt also helped nose tackle Darius Kilgo achieve career highs in tackles (43) and tackles for loss (8.0). The senior finished the season tied for first in the Big Ten with four fumble recoveries and earned All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.

Kilgo was selected in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. It marked the second straight year a player coached by Wilt was chosen in the NFL Draft. Jonathan Newsome, who Wilt coached at Ball State, was picked in the 2014 NFL Draft and was second in the NFL among rookies with 6.5 sacks in 2014.

Wilt spent 2011-13 coaching the defensive line at Ball State and added recruiting coordinator responsibilities in 2013. He worked with a defensive unit that improved each of his three seasons with the Cardinals.

In his final season at Ball State, the Cardinals improved from 13th in total defense in the MAC in 2011 to seventh in 2013. In addition, the team’s rushing defense and sack totals improved each year. The Cardinals ranked 13th in the MAC in Wilt’s first season before improving to seventh in total defense, while the sacks totals increased from 16 (2011) to 27 (2013).

Prior to his stint with Ball State, Wilt spent one season with the University of Richmond as a defensive line coach and helped Martin Parker earn All-American honors after totaling 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Following the 2010 season, Parker was named the most valuable player on defense in the East-West Shrine Bowl and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Giants. Parker would help the franchise win Super Bowl XLVI before his career was cut short due to injury.

Wilt coached the defensive line during the 2009 season at Virginia. He oversaw the development of All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection Nate Collins, who signed with the Chicago Bears prior to the start of the 2010 NFL season.

From 2006 through 2008, Wilt served as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Liberty. During his tenure the Flames won two Big South Conference titles, and he coached five student-athletes who received All-America recognition.

Before arriving at Liberty, Wilt spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Virginia (2004-05) and three seasons as a defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Central Connecticut State (2001-03).

The native of Carlisle, Pa., was a three-time all-conference selection at Taylor University in Upland, Ind., and was a two-time NAIA All-American at defensive end and two-time academic all-conference selection.

Wilt earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management from Taylor University in 2000 and a master’s degree from Virginia in 2006.

His father Steve is a lifelong football coach and was the head coach at Wingate College (N.C.) and Taylor University (Ind.).

The Wilt File

Coaching Experience
2020-present: Minnesota – Defensive Line
2019: Cincinnati – Defensive Line
2016-18: Army West Point – Defensive Line
2014-15: Maryland – Defensive Line
2013: Ball State – Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
2011-13: Ball State – Defensive Line
2010: Richmond – Defensive Line
2009: Virginia – Defensive Line
2006-08: Liberty – Defensive Line/Special Teams Coordinator
2004-05: Virginia – Graduate Assistant
2001-03: Central Connecticut State – Defensive Line/Special Teams Coordinator

Playing Experience: Taylor (defensive end), 1996-99

Hometown: Carlisle, Pa.

Alma Mater: Taylor, 2000 (sports management); Virginia, 2006 (master’s degree)