It appears the search for the Thundering Herd’s next defensive coordinator is over.  Published reports indicate former Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater will be hired to replace Chris Rippon who resigned in December.

Both the HuntingtonHerald-Dispatch and Charleston Daily Mail are reporting the announcement should take place in the next few days.

Doc Holliday’s selection of Heater does not come as much of a surprise.  Holliday has surrounded himself with a staff that he is familiar with, either from his days at Florida or West Virginia.  Holliday and Heater served on Urban Myer’s staff at Florida from 2005 to 2007 and were part of the 2006 National Championship team in Gainesville. 

Heater became available in December following the departure of Owls’ head coach Steve Addazio, who took was picked to lead the Boston College football program.  Heater’s name has been floating around the rumor mill since Addazio’s hire at Boston College as a possible successor at Temple and as a defensive coordinator with the Eagles. 

Marshall will look for Heater to turn around a much-maligned defense in 2013.  The Herd ranked near the bottom in nearly every national statistical category and allowed seven opponents to score at least 40 points.  Five teams were able to tally at least 50 points against Marshall’s defense last season.

Heater turned around Temple’s defense in 2011.  The Owls were third in the nation in scoring defense (13.2 points/game) and 12th in total defense (311.8 yards/game) in 2011.  The Owls’ defense regressed a bit in 2012 largely due to having to replace several starters lost to graduation. 

Heater is known to run a 4-3 scheme and likes to bring pressure through different blitz packages and stunts along the defensive front.  There is also a lot of movement before the snap in an effort to confuse the quarterback. 

That is good news for a Marshall defense that struggled to get pressure on the quarterback in 2012.  The Herd averaged just 1.5 sacks a game. 

Heater, 60, is a Michigan man and played as a running back for the Wolverines, under legendary coach Bo Schembechler.  During his coaching career he’s made stops at Ohio State, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Washington, Utah and Florida in various roles. 

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