Texas A&M has selected Tim DeRuyter, defensive coordinator at Air Force for the past three seasons, to fill the same role in College Station.
A&M coach Mike Sherman said today that DeRuyter, who will replace the retired Joe Kines, brings the “aggressive, attacking style of defense” he sought to improve a unit that ranked last among Big 12 teams in yards allowed (426.3) and points allowed (33.5) last season.
DeRuyter, who also will have the title of assistant head coach, oversaw an Air Force unit that finished 11th nationally in total defense last season, allowing 288.3 yards per game. Air Force also ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense (15.7 avg.) and was fifth in pass defense, allowing only 154.3 yards per game.
DeRuyter, 47, is a former Air Force player who also has coordinated defenses at Nevada (2005-06) and Ohio (2002-04; 1995-98). He has experience working with both 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes and cited former A&M coach R.C. Slocum as a significant influence on his coaching philosophy.
“Being a defensive coach, I have tried to emulate the ‘Wrecking Crew’ style that R.C. Slocum had in place at A&M,” DeRuyter said in a statement released by school officials. “As a defense, we like to dictate to the offense and put them back on their heels.”
In his last game at Air Force, DeRuyter’s defense intercepted six passes during a 47-20 victory over Houston in the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. Houston entered the game with the nation’s leading passer, Case Keenum, but managed only 222 passing yards against Air Force.
A&M finished its 6-7 season with a 44-20 loss to Georgia in the Independence Bowl.
_ Jimmy Burch