Jeff Koonz
Jeff  Koonz

Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

Alma Mater:
Auburn '04

Jeff Koonz joined the University of Cincinnati football staff in 2014 and was elevated to his current role of co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach prior to the 2016 campaign.

He coached the safeties in 2014 and the linebackers in 2015. Koonz, who was a graduate assistant for UC head coach Tommy Tuberville during the 2004 season at Auburn, came to UC after four years coaching the linebackers at Louisiana Tech.

In 2015, Koonz mentored Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection Eric Wilson and freshman standout Bryce Jenkinson who finished first (106) and third (59) on the team in tackles, respectively. UC was 7-6 and played in a bowl game for the fifth straight season, setting a school record.

UC finished out its 2014 campaign with a 9-4 record, an American Athletic Conference Championship and a matchup against Virginia Tech in the 2014 Military Bowl. Cincinnati rebounded from a 2-3 start and finished the regular season 9-3 on a seven-game winning streak with a share of the conference crown. S Zach Edwards totaled six double-figure tackle games, including a career-high 18 tackles against Memphis and finished with over 100 stops for the season.

During the 2013 campaign, Koonz directed a revamped linebacking corp with Texas Tech transfer Daniel Cobb leading LA Tech’s defense with 82 total tackles and a team-best 12 tackles for a loss. Cobb, named to the Conference USA Honorable Mention All-Conference team, recovered two fumbles, forced a fumble, was in on 1.5 sacks, intercepted a pass and blocked a kick during the season. He was aided by Mitch Villemez’ 69 tackles and three forced fumbles.

In his second season in Ruston, Tech’s defense was the “Year of the Linebacker” with starting linebackers Adrien Cole and Jay Dudley accounting for 230 total tackles - 65 percent of Tech’s tackles on the season. Cole led the team with 128 tackles and 13 tackles for a loss as he was named first team All-WAC and the WAC Defensive Player of the Year while Dudley was responsible for 102 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and four interceptions returned for 94 yards, three of which were returned for a touchdown.

His first year at Louisiana Tech saw three of his linebackers finish the season in the top four on the team in tackles with Adrien Cole earning second team All-WAC honors.

Koonz previously served as a defensive quality control assistant at Texas, helping lead the Longhorns to a Big 12 title and an appearance in the 2009 BCS national championship game against Alabama.

Prior to his one-year stint at Texas, Koonz was the secondary coach at Iowa State for two seasons under Chizik while also assisting with special teams. Koonz’s year as overseeing the defensive quality control at Texas was his second stint with the Longhorns having previously served as a graduate assistant coach in Austin during the 2005-06 seasons, coaching the linebackers.

During Koonz’s first stay at Texas, the Longhorns won the national collegiate football championship over USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl. Texas was 13-0 that season en route to the Big 12 championship.

Koonz was also a graduate assistant coach at Auburn during the 2004 campaign, coaching the secondary, and was a student assistant coach at Auburn for over a year. While at Auburn, he worked on staffs that led the Tigers to the 2002 Capital One Bowl championship, a 2003 Music City Bowl victory, the 2004 SEC championship and a win in the 2004 Nokia Sugar Bowl.

He graduated from Auburn in 2004 with a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education and received his Master’s degree in educational administration from Texas in 2006.

Koonz married the former Maura McDermott in July 2011 and the couple has a daughter, Mary Margaret and a son Jameson Jeffrey.

Born: May 30, 1982
Hometown: Wallkill, N.Y.
Wife: Maura
Children: Mary, Jameson
Education: Auburn (2004, B.S.)

Year: School - Position
2003: Auburn - Student Assistant
2004: Auburn - Defensive GA
2005-06: Texas - Defensive GA
2006: Texas - Linebackers
2007-08: Iowa State - Secondary
2009: Texas - Quality Control
2010-13: Louisiana Tech - Linebackers
2014: Cincinnati - Safeties
2015: Cincinnati - Linebackers
2016: Cincinnati - Co-Defensive Coordinator/LB

Year: School - Bowl
2003: Auburn - Music City Bowl
2004: Auburn - Sugar Bowl
2005: Texas - Rose Bowl
2006: Texas - Alamo Bowl
2009: Texas - BCS National Championship
2011: Louisiana Tech - Poinsettia
2014: Cincinnati - Military
2015: Cincinnati - Hawai‘i