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Art Kaufman
Position: Defensive Coordinator
Hometown: Dermott, Ark.
High School: Dermott
Alma Mater: Arkansas at Monticello
Graduating Year: 1980
Experience: 1st Year
Kaufman Photos


Art Kaufman is in his first season as the defensive coordinator at Cal in 2014 after being hired on January 22, 2014. Kaufman has developed some of the top defenses in the country at multiple stops over his 32-year collegiate career. He has 12 seasons of experience as a defensive coordinator at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level, serving in the role at Cincinnati, North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas Tech. He was nominated for prestigious the Broyles Award given annually to college football’s top assistant coach both at North Carolina in 2011 and Texas Tech in 2012.

“After an extensive search and evaluation process, we have identified one of the top coaches and teachers in the business to join our staff at Cal,” head coach Sonny Dykes said after he announced Kaufman's hiring at Cal on January 22, 2014. “Art has a tremendous amount of experience and an excellent track record in significant roles on the defensive side of the ball at the highest level of college football. He is a great fit at Cal as he shares in our philosophy of developing players to their fullest potential both on and off the field, while being an excellent teacher in all aspects of the game.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Cal football coaching staff and believe that my coaching experience will help our defense improve quickly,” Kaufman said upon his hiring. “I’m looking forward to building a strong defense that will make significant contributions to our success as a football team. Sonny Dykes is in the initial stages of building a tremendous football program at Cal, and it’s great to be part of that process early on.”

Kaufman was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Cincinnati in 2013 when the Bearcats finished 9-4 overall and played in the Belk Bowl. Kaufman’s defense was one of the best in the country, ranking in the top 10 nationally in both rushing defense (6th, 104.5 ypg) and total defense (9th, 315.6 ypg). Cincinnati was also among the top 30 in 10 of the 11 primary defensive categories tracked in the national stats, including 14th in scoring defense (21.0 ppg), third-down conversion percentage defense (33.1%) and first downs defense (230); 23rd in sacks (2.69 spg) and red-zone defense (76.5%); 25th in team passing efficiency defense (116.75); 26th in tackles for loss (6.80 tflpg); and 29th in passing yards allowed (211.2 ypg).

Defensive lineman Jordan Stepp earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors in the inaugural season of the league while three Bearcats – defensive lineman Silverberry Mouhon, linebacker Greg Blair and cornerback Deven Drane – were second-team selections. Blair led the squad with 106 tackles, while Mouhon (9.5 spg) and Stepp (6.0 spg) were first and second on the club in sacks.

“I feel confident that Art Kaufman is the right coach to lead our defense,” Dykes said. “I’ve observed his career for many years and have a strong appreciation for what he has accomplished. His teams are always fundamentally sound and play hard. The thing that really stood out as we researched him is that all of his former players that we talked to said the highlight of their career was playing for Art. It’s a real credit to who he is as a person and a coach.”

“When you have an opportunity to hire a coach of this caliber it speaks volumes to Cal’s reputation on a national level,” Dykes added. “Art had lots of other opportunities but joined us at Cal because he sees the same potential that I saw when I decided to take this coaching job. We’re all excited about the future of Cal football and the opportunity to build something together.”

The performance of Kaufman’s defense last season came on the heels of a 2012 campaign in which he led a complete overhaul of the Texas Tech defense. Inheriting a 2011 unit that ranked 114th nationally in total defense (485.58 ypg), the Red Raiders improved to 38th (367.31 ypg) while ranking second in the Big 12 Conference. Texas Tech was keyed by a pass defense that led the league and ranked 15th in the country (192.00 ypg). The Red Raiders finished 8-5 overall and were victorious at the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder along with defensive backs Cody Davis and D.J. Johnson were named second-team All-Big 12 in 2012 while Davis was also a first-team Capital One Academic All-American® and one of 15 finalists for the prestigious William B. Campbell Trophy. Davis led the team in tackles (101) and interceptions (3); including one that he returned 88 yards for a touchdown, while adding seven pass breakups and 3.5 tackles for loss. Johnson was second on the squad with 90 stops while Hyder was third with 56 tackles, a team-leading 14.0 tackles for loss and a team co-leading 6.0 sacks. He tallied 10.5 TFLs during Big 12 play to rank third in the league.

“Art has a proven track record of quick improvement and that was on full display during his tenure at Texas Tech,” Dykes said. “He also has the ability to mesh a defense with a fast-paced offense. Those are two things that we obviously need.”

Kaufman joined the Red Raiders from North Carolina, where he was the defensive coordinator for the Tar Heels in 2011 and the linebackers coach for three campaigns from 2009-11. Kaufman helped guide the 2011 Tar Heels to a No. 27 ranking in rush defense (123.92 ypg), a No. 48 national ranking in total defense (365.23 ypg) and an appearance against Missouri in the Independence Bowl.

Carolina developed several outstanding linebackers under Karuman’s guidance, including current NFL players Zach Brown (Tennessee), Bruce Carter (Dallas) and Kevin Reddick (New Orleans).

Brown posted strong numbers in his final season in 2011 to earn first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors when he paced the Tar Heels with 105 tackles and co-led the squad with three interceptions and three pass breakups, while adding 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Defensive tackle Quinton Coples also picked up first-team All-ACC honors for the second consecutive season and was selected by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft with the 16th selection overall.

Reddick (74) and Brown (72) were North Carolina’s top two tacklers in 2010, with Brown adding three interceptions that he ran back for 113 yards. Despite injuries to Carter and linebacker Quan Sturdivant, a sixth-round 2011 NFL Draft Pick of the Arizona Cardinals, the Tar Heels finished fourth in the ACC and 30th in the country in total defense (338.54 ypg) led by a rushing defense that was also fourth in the league and 22nd nationally (125.62 ypg).

Carolina's linebackers helped lead a unit that finished first in the ACC and sixth in the nation in total defense (269.62 ypg) on its way to an 8-5 record and a spot in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2009. The Tar Heels were 10th in the country against the run (95.62 ypg) and finished 13th in scoring defense (17.08), ranking first and second in the conference. Carolina was the only team in the country to finish among the top 15 in total defense, rushing defense, third-down efficiency (3rd, 29.4%), tackles for loss (6th, 8.08 tflpg), pass defense (14th, 174.0 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (14th, 105.32). Sturdivant earned first-team All-ACC honors after leading the Tar Heels with 79 stops, while Carter was a second-team all-conference pick.

Prior to his three-year run at North Carolina, Kaufman spent one season coaching the defensive line and special teams at Southern Miss (2008), three coaching linebackers at Middle Tennessee (2005-07), and two as the defensive line coach at East Carolina (2003-04), and two as the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Arkansas Tech (2000-01).

During his lone season at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles posted a 7-6 record and won their last five games, including a New Orleans Bowl victory. Kaufman’s 2006 team at Middle Tennessee won a co-Sun Belt title and was the school’s first bowl squad in 45 seasons, with the Blue Raiders defense ranking third in the nation in tackles for loss (8.08 tflpg) and 20th in sacks (2.77 spg). His first team at Arkansas Tech was 8-2.

Kaufman coached 10 of the previous 13 seasons over two stints at Mississippi, starting in 1988 with a four-year run working with the defensive ends and linebackers before returning to Ole Miss for six campaigns from 1995-2000 as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

During his first stint at Ole Miss, Kaufman helped guide the Rebels to back-to-back bowl appearances during the 1989 (Liberty Bowl) and 1990 (Gator Bowl) seasons for the first time since 1970 and 1971. In his second tour of duty, the Rebels played in four straight bowls (1997-2000); with his 1999 squad ranking fourth nationally in rushing defense (76.9 ypg).

In between his two stints at Mississippi he spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Louisiana Tech (1992-94). His 1992 team ranked fourth nationally in total defense (256.5 ypg).

Kaufman also coached five seasons at Northwestern State (1983-87), working with the outside linebackers for the first four campaigns before being promoted to defensive coordinator/linebackers coach for his fifth and final season.

Kaufman broke into the coaching business as a graduate assistant at Delta State in 1982 after receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1980. He was a four-year starting linebacker during his collegiate playing days with the Boll Weevils.

A native of Dermott, Ark., Kaufman has three daughters: Tara, Taylor and Madison.

The Kaufman File

Birthdate: December 23, 1957
Hometown: Dermott, AR
High School: Dermott HS
College: Arkansas at Monticello, 1983
Family: daughters, Tara, Taylor and Madison

Collegiate Coaching History

Season School Position
1982 Delta State Graduate Assistant
1983 Northwestern State Outside Linebackers
1984 Northwestern State Outside Linebackers
1985 Northwestern State Outside Linebackers
1986 Northwestern State Outside Linebackers
1987 Northwestern State Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1988 Mississippi Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers
1989 Mississippi Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers
1990 Mississippi Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers
1991 Mississippi Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers
1992 Louisiana Tech Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1993 Louisiana Tech Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1994 Louisiana Tech Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1995 Mississippi Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1996 Mississippi Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1997 Mississippi Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1998 Mississippi Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1999 Mississippi Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2000 Mississippi Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2001 Arkansas Tech Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2002 Arkansas Tech Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2003 East Carolina Defensive Line
2004 East Carolina Defensive Line
2005 Middle Tennessee Linebackers
2006 Middle Tennessee Linebackers
2007 Middle Tennessee Linebackers
2008 Southern Miss Defensive Line/Special Teams
2009 North Carolina Linebackers
2010 North Carolina Linebackers
2011 North Carolina Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2012 Texas Tech Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2013 Cincinnati Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2014 Cal Defensive Coordinator

Bowl Game History (13)

*Season School Bowl
1989 Mississippi Liberty Bowl
1990 Mississippi Gator Bowl
1997 Mississippi Motor City Bowl
1998 Mississippi Independence Bowl
1999 Mississippi Independence Bowl
2000 Mississippi/td> Music City Bowl
2006 Middle Tennessee Motor City Bowl
2008 Southern Miss New Orleans Bowl
2009 North Carolina Meineke Car Care Bowl
2010 North Carolina Meineke Car Care Bowl
2011 North Carolina Independence Bowl
2012 Texas Tech Meineke Car Care Bowl
2013 Cincinnati Belk Bowl

*Season in which bowl game was played

Last Updated
January 22, 2014

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