Oklahoma has hired former OU All-Big 12 defensive end Calvin Thibodeaux as the program’s new defensive line coach.
“We’re excited to have Calvin back in our program,” said OU coach Bob Stoops, who has won nine Big 12 titles in his 17 seasons at OU. “He’s a longtime Sooner and was an excellent player for us. He’s gained great defensive line experience coming up through the coaching ranks and was being sought after by other programs. He’ll provide great leadership and direction to our players and will make big contributions to our defensive scheme.”
Thibodeaux returns to OU after serving the last five seasons as an assistant coach at Kansas (2015 – defensive line coach), Tulsa (2012-14 – defensive tackle coach) and Dartmouth (2011 – defensive line coach). He was also the defensive line coach at Navarro Junior College in 2010 and served as a defensive graduate assistant at Houston during the 2008 and ’09 seasons.
Thibodeaux played at OU from the 2002 through 2006 seasons, helping the Sooners win three Big 12 championships and make appearances in the Rose, Sugar (BCS Championship), Orange (BCS Championship), Holiday and Fiesta Bowls, respectively. He was limited to five games due to injury in 2004 and received a medical hardship. He finished his OU career with 90 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks. He was a second-team All-Big 12 pick in 2005, logging 44 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and a league-high 10.0 sacks, sixth most in school history.
Last year at Kansas, Thibodeaux tutored defensive end Ben Goodman to honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. Goodman started all 12 games at defensive end and totaled 51 tackles and team highs of 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
At Tulsa, Thibodeaux coached a pair of players to 2012 All-Conference USA honors in Daeshon Bufford and Derrick Jackson. The duo combined for 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as the Golden Hurricane finished with an 11-3 mark, including a win in the Liberty Bowl. Thibodeaux was credited with improving the TU pass rush from 27 sacks in 2011 (the season prior to his arrival) to 53 sacks in 2012.
In his lone season at Dartmouth, Thibodeaux helped the Big Green post its first winning season in Ivy League play in seven years. He coached first-team All-Ivy League and first-team All-New England defensive tackle Eddie Smith.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Thibodeaux of returning to OU. “To have this opportunity is special. It’s home, I know the culture, I know what the expectations are. It’s truly a blessing.
“When I got into coaching back in 2008, it was always one of my goals to come back home. For it to happen is just remarkable.”
Thibodeaux helped Navarro College post an 11-1 record and win the 2010 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship. The Bulldogs registered 41 sacks while ranking 11th nationally in rushing defense and 12 nationally in total defense. Thibodeaux tutored NJCAA All-American and Championship Game Defensive MVP Toby Jackson.
Prior to his stint at Navarro, Thibodeaux served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Houston for two seasons, working specifically with the defensive line and the outside linebackers. During his first year with the Cougars, defensive end Phillip Hunt, who amassed 14.0 sacks, was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year.
A native of Houston, Texas, Thibodeaux signed with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League in 2007, playing in two preseason games. Thibodeaux, who replaces former Sooners defensive line coach Diron Reynolds, earned his bachelor’s degree from OU in public affairs and administration in December 2006.
He and his wife, Terrika, have a son, Camar, and a daughter, Kamiah.