Report: Naivar headed to Kentucky

The defensive coordinator at Texas State appears to be headed to Kentucky to fill its special teams opening, a report in the Austin American-Statesman said on Saturday.

The report says Craig Naivar, 42, has left the Bobcats to take over the special teams coordinator spot vacated by Bradley Dale Peveto.

“This is the nature of the business, and we wish Craig well. Our defense made huge strides under his coaching the past few seasons,” head coach Dennis Franchione told the American-Statesman, confirming that Naivar is headed to Kentucky.

Kentucky spokesman Tony Neely said he could not confirm the report as of late Saturday night.

The Bobcats were 58th in total defense in 2013, allowing 27.3 points and 396.7 yards a game.

Naiver spent four seasons at Rice before heading to Texas State. He spent three seasons there as the defensive coordinator.

The report said that Naivar interviewed for the position on Feb. 26 and accepted the job on Friday night. Peveto left for the special teams job at Louisiana State.

Naivar was at Rice as co-defensive coordinator from 2007-2009, when Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot was the recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach. The two also coached together at Naivar’s first stop at Texas State in 2004 and 2005.

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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