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Published: Tuesday, 12/17/2013 - Updated: 7 months ago

Rockets losing defensive coordinator

Matukewicz to be head coach at Southeast Missouri State

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Matukewicz Matukewicz
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The University of Toledo will have a new defensive coordinator next season.

Tom Matukewicz, who led the Rockets’ defense the past two years, is leaving to be the head coach at Southeast Missouri State.

Matukewicz is expected to be introduced today by the Football Championship Subdivision program, which last month fired Tony Samuel after eight seasons and a 31-60 record.

Matukewicz will take with him Rockets safeties coach Bryce Saia to be his defensive coordinator.

Toledo coach Matt Campbell said he’s in no hurry to replace Matukewicz, whom Campbell made his first major hire after becoming head coach two years ago. Matukewicz previously served as Northern Illinois’ linebackers coach, a role he held at Toledo.

“I’m going to take my time through the process,” Campbell said. “Really, the last couple weeks I’ve had the chance to evaluate what we need. I’m going to go out and get the best fit for our program. It’s a great opportunity to coach a talented and young defense.”

Matukewicz never produced the change people had hoped to see in a defense that has struggled for the better part of a decade. Toledo allowed an average of 28 points in each of his seasons, ranking seventh and fifth in the Mid-American Conference. Particularly troubling were second halves to close the 2013 season. The Rockets surrendered 83 points after halftime in the last three weeks, holding on for a 51-41 win over Buffalo before losing to Northern Illinois and Akron and missing out on a bowl game invitation.

Toledo was last in the MAC in red zone defense.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.



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