BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado has hired former USF coach Jim Leavitt as its defensive coordinator and Central Michigan defensive coordinator Joe Tumpkin as safeties coach.
Leavitt has been linebackers coach with the San Francisco 49ers for the last four seasons. Before that, Leavitt spent 13 seasons at South Florida, leading the program from its inception in I-AA to eventually landing in the Big East.
He was 95-57 with the Bulls, but was fired in 2010 after a school investigation found he struck a player in the locker room and then was not truthful when questioned about it by school officials.
At Colorado, Leavitt will replace Kent Baer, who left to become defensive coordinator at UNLV after leading one of the worst defenses in the country the last two seasons with the Buffaloes. Leavitt will also coach linebackers with Colorado.
Tumpkin was defensive coordinator for four seasons under Dan Enos as Central Michigan, but Enos left last month to become offensive coordinator at Arkansas.
Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre is 6-18 in two seasons in Boulder. The Buffaloes have made strides and been more competitive, but the defense has not been able to hold up against Pac-12 offenses. The Buffaloes ranked 120 in the nation last season in yards per play allowed at 6.55, worst among teams in the Big Five conferences. Colorado's defense ranked 101st in yards per play (6.08) in 2013.
Before taking over at South Florida, Leavitt was a defensive coach at Kansas State under Bill Snyder for six seasons, including five years as co-defensive coordinator.