Drinkwitz fills out staff with final defensive hire
Missouri is back to a full complement of ten assistant coaches. PowerMizzou.com can confirm that Eli Drinkwitz is hiring former Miami and LSU assistant Blake Baker. The news was first reported by Pete Thamel of ESPN.
Baker got his start as a graduate assistant at Texas from 2010 to 2012. When Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin got the head coaching job at Arkansas State, he hired Baker as the safeties coach. Drinkwitz was the running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator on that staff. Baker spent 2014 as the Louisiana Tech safeties coach and was then promoted to defensive coordinator. In his four years as the Bulldogs' DC, Tech went to four bowl games.
That performance earned Baker the defensive coordinator job at Miami, where he spent 2019 and 2020 under Manny Diaz. Baker was in Baton Rouge last year, but was not retained when Brian Kelly replaced Ed Orgeron.
Missouri had lost both cornerbacks coach Aaron Fletcher (Arizona State) and safeties coach Charlie Harbison (stepped down for personal reasons) this offseason. Thamel reported Baker will coach the safeties. If that's accurate, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks will likely work with the Tiger cornerbacks.
Here is the Drinkwitz's coaching staff as it stands today:
Defensiver Coordinator: Steve Wilks
Defensive Line (Interior): Al Davis
Defensive Line (Edge): Kevin Peoples
Linebackers: DJ Smith
Safeties: Blake Baker
Quarterbacks: Bush Hamdan
Running Backs: Curtis Luper
Wide Receivers: Jake Peeler
Tight Ends/Special Teams: Erik Link
Offensive Line: Marcus Johnson
The Tigers are set to open spring football in late February.