football Edit

Let the chaos commence: A&M hires Spencer as DL coach

Texas A&M moved swiftly to replace Elijah Robinson as the team's defensive line coach, hiring former Florida, Penn State and New York Giants DL coach Sean Spencer Sunday night.

Sean Spencer rejoins Mike Elko in Aggieland.
Sean Spencer rejoins Mike Elko in Aggieland.

Spencer, 52, was recently let go by Florida coach Billy Napier after the Gators lost their final five games to finish 5-7. But his track record before the end in Gainesville has been highly impressive.

Spencer worked with Elko at Hofstra from 2006 to 2008, and again at Bowling Green from 2009-2010. He made his SEC debut in 2011 on James Franklin's staff at Vanderbilt, where the Commodores experienced success unprecedented in program history.

In 2012, Vanderbilt was 19th nationally in total defense, 12th in tackles for loss, 15th in scoring defense and 14th in passing defense. In 2013, the Commodores slipped to 23rd in total defense but forced 29 turnovers.

Spencer -- also known as "Coach Chaos" -- is probably best known for his work at Penn State. With elite talent, the Penn State defense produced elite results in 2014: they were second in the nation in total defense, seventh in scoring defense, second in sacks, third in rushing defense and ninth in passing yards allowed. In 2015, the Nittany Lions were 14th in total defense, but led the nation in sacks and were sixth in tackles for loss.

In 2016, the Penn State defense took a step back, slipping to 37th overall but remaining in the top 10 in tackles for loss. The defense rebounded strongly in 2017, finishing 17th in total defense, seventh in scoring defense and seventh in sacks.

Spencer received a pay raise and added the title of associate head coach before the 2018 season. Penn State struggled against the run, but were first nationally in sacks, fourth in tackles for loss and 11th in red zone defense. In 2019, the Nittany Lions were 34th in total defense, but eighth in scoring defense and remained in the top 10 in sacks.

Spencer moved to the NFL before the 2020 season, spending two years with the Giants under then-coach Joe Judge. After Judge and his staff were fired, Elko quickly hired Spencer to serve as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Duke, but he moved on to Florida before the season began.

Spencer has proven himself to be a strong recruiter at each of his collegiate stops, with his list of commits including current Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, a 5-star in the 2018 class.