EUGENE — Oregon football head coach Dan Lanning finalized his full-time, on-field coaching staff for the 2022 season on Monday, announcing Tosh Lupoi as the Duck’s new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
“I am incredibly excited to have Tosh Lupoi joining us here at Oregon,” Lanning said. “We want to play championship-level defense on a consistent basis, and Coach Lupoi is one of the very best defensive minds in the country. I am looking forward to seeing him work with student-athletes again after spending the last few seasons in the NFL, experience that will be very valuable for our program.
“I had the opportunity to work first-hand with Coach Lupoi at Alabama, where his tireless work ethic and coaching acumen set him apart as one of the game’s elite coaches while coordinating one of the top defenses in the nation. His history and familiarity with the West Coast and the Pac-12 also makes him a great fit here in Eugene. This is a very exciting hire for the Ducks. I am thrilled to welcome Tosh and his wife, Jordan, as well as their son, Locke, and their daughter, Logan, to the Oregon family.”
Lupoi spent the 2021 season as the defensive line coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, his third year in the NFL after serving the same role with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020 and the Cleveland Browns in 2019. He went to the NFL after five seasons at Alabama, where he worked his way up to defensive coordinator in 2018. Lupoi began his coaching career in the Pac-12, coaching the defensive line for both California (2008-11) and Washington (2012-13).
“I want to thank Coach Lanning for the opportunity to come to the University of Oregon and join the terrific staff he has put together,” Lupoi said. “I am really excited to return to college football at one of the premier spots in the nation, where we will work tirelessly to provide the very best experience for our student-athletes. We will do everything we can to help them reach their full potential as both football players and quality young men. Coach Lanning is building something special in Eugene, and I cannot wait to be a part of it. Go Ducks!”
Lupoi coached some of the game’s top defensive linemen – including star defensive end Myles Garrett with the Browns – during his three seasons in the NFL, quickly establishing himself as one of the league’s top defensive assistants. He guided Garrett to 10 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss in just 10 games in 2019, and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was second on the team with 5.5 sacks and 11.0 TFLs.
As the Falcons’ defensive line coach and run game coordinator in 2020, Lupoi helped Atlanta allow the sixth-fewest rushing yards in the league at 1,677. Grady Jarrett led the defensive line with four sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Lupoi played a major role in the development of Josh Allen in 2021 with the Jaguars, coaching Allen to 7.5 sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss. Lupoi also helped Dawuane Smoot to a career year with six sacks and seven tackles for loss, and the duo combined for three sacks in Jacksonville’s season finale on Sunday as the Jaguars defeated Indianapolis, 26-11, and knocked the Colts out of the playoff race.
Prior to going to the NFL, Lupoi helped Alabama make five consecutive College Football Playoff appearances, including four trips to the title game and a pair of national championships. The Crimson Tide won the national title in 2015 with Lupoi coaching outside linebackers, and again in 2017 with Lupoi in his second year as co-defensive coordinator.
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Lupoi was elevated to the role of defensive coordinator in 2018, helping lead Alabama to a fourth straight national championship game and coaching Quinnen Williams to the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in college football. The Crimson Tide ranked 12th nationally in scoring defense (17.8 PPG) and 16th in total defense (319.5 YPG), and Lupoi mentored a pair of first-team all-Americans in Williams and Dieonte Thompson. Williams went on to be selected third overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Alabama ranked in the top 12 nationally in scoring defense in each of Lupoi’s five seasons in Tuscaloosa, finishing in the top six in the country four times. The Crimson Tide led the FBS in scoring defense in both 2016 and 2017 with Lupoi as co-defensive coordinator, allowing just 11.9 points per game in 2017 and 13.0 in 2016. Alabama also led the nation in rushing defense each of those years, and the Crimson Tide was No. 1 in total defense in 2017 and No. 2 in 2016.
A defensive lineman at California during his playing days, Lupoi began his coaching career at his alma mater in 2008 as the Golden Bears’ defensive line coach, becoming the youngest full-time coach in program history at the age of 26. He coached a pair of first-team all-Pac-10 selections at Cal in Tyson Alualu and Cam Jordan, as well as second-team honoree Trevor Guyton. Alualu was taken 10th overall by Jacksonville in the 2010 NFL Draft, and Jordan went 24th overall to New Orleans the following year.
California led the Pac-12 in total defense in Lupoi’s final two seasons on staff, and he proved to be an ace recruiter for the Golden Bears as well. Lupoi was the 2010 Rivals Recruiter of the year after Cal landed the No. 14 ranked recruiting class in the nation, and his efforts on the recruiting trail helped the Golden Bears improve on that class with a No. 11 ranking in 2011.
Lupoi went from California to Washington, where he was the Huskies’ defensive line coach and run game coordinator in 2012 and 2013. UW ranked fourth in the nation in sacks per game (3.15) in 2013, with defensive end Hau’oli Kikaha totaling 13.0 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss to earn second-team all-Pac-10 honors. Lupoi also helped Washington land its highest-ranked recruiting class in a decade with the No. 18 class in the nation.
Lupoi played for the Golden Bears from 2000 to 2005, earning Pac-10 all-academic recognition in 2005. He graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in American studies, and also completed coursework towards a Master’s degree in education.
A California native, Lupoi played high school football at De La Salle High School, one of the most successful programs in the history of prep football, where he earned all-state honors and won a national title. His father, John Lupoi, played college football at BYU and was later a part-time assistant coach at California.