MO State HS Sports

Football Names Batoon As Defensive Coordinator

2022 Mizzou FB Helmet vs. Kentucky

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Longtime college football assistant Corey Batoon was named University of Missouri football’s defensive coordinator, Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Saturday. 

A 32-year coaching veteran, Batoon joins the Tigers staff after three years as the defensive coordinator at South Alabama. The Jaguars finished 15th nationally in total defense (313.2 ypg) and tied for 26th with 22 takeaways, a mark which would have led the Southeastern Conference in 2023.

“Our intent from the start of this search was to identify a leader for our death row defense who has proven success as a coordinator, and equally as important, is aligned with the philosophy of our defense,” Drinkwitz said. “Corey has been a part of championship-level teams at every stop along his path. He’s a veteran coach who’s battle tested, and has an ability to break things down and teach the game at a high level. I’m excited to see him bring those skills and experience to fit with our defensive approach.”

Looking at advanced statistical metrics, Batoon’s defense was No. 18 in the NCAA FBS in stop rate – a percentage of a defense’s drives that end in punts, turnovers or a turnover on downs, according to TruMedia – and No. 30 in havoc rate – a percentage of defensive plays that result in a tackle for loss, sack, force fumble, interception or pass deflection.

The two-time Broyles Award nominee improved USA’s numbers in total and scoring defense in each of his three seasons – going from No. 92 and 53 when he took over in 2021 to No. 15 and 26, respectively, in 2023. South Alabama’s defense was also ranked among the Top 30 nationally in rushing defense (19th), passing defense (28th), red zone defense (23rd) and third-down defense (27th). The Jaguars allowed 10 points or fewer five times in 2023, including a 33-7 road win at Oklahoma State and a 59-10 season ending win over Eastern Michigan in the 68 Ventures Bowl.

Batoon’s defense helped South Alabama to a 10-3 record and New Orleans Bowl Berth in 2022, ranking fourth nationally in rush defense allowing just 93 yards per game on the ground. The Jaguar defense ranked among the Top 25 nationally in scoring defense (25th), total defense (25th), third-down defense (13th) and red zone defense (17th).

“The energy, passion and plan that Coach Drinkwitz has is absolutely incredible. I am truly grateful to him for allowing me an opportunity to coordinate the Mizzou defense,” said Batoon. “As coaches, we want to challenge ourselves among the best of the best, and Missouri is in that mix. Just watching them from afar this past season, you could tell the program has a specialness to it and the upward trajectory is apparent. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the staff and players and get to work.”


24 Batoon Coaching Timeline

A native of Hawai’i, Batoon has previous SEC experience courtesy of a five-year stint at Ole Miss, first as Assistant AD for both player development and recruiting operations/defensive assistant from 2012-14 before serving as an assistant coach working with safeties and special teams coordinator for two seasons. 

He was part of a 10-1 season at Liberty in 2020, A Mountain West Conference West Division crown at Hawai’i in 2019 and a Conference USA Championship at Florida Atlantic in 2017. He has also made coaching stops at Arkansas State, Northern Arizona, Montana, Central Missouri, St. Mary’s and Pierce JC. 

Batoon is a graduate of Long Beach State, where he played football for two seasons before earning his degree in political science in 1991.  He would go on to add a master’s degree in health and physical education and recreation in 1996 from St. Mary’s.  Batoon and his wife Stacy have two daughters, Brandy and Summer.

Mizzou, coming off an 11-2 season with a win in the 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl, opens 2024 against Murray State on Saturday, Aug. 31 inside Memorial Stadium.

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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics