DeWayne Walker is in his fourth season with the club after being named defensive backs coach for the Jaguars on January 24, 2013. Walker has 28 years of coaching experience, including 10 in the NFL, and spent four seasons as head coach at New Mexico State before joining the Jaguars.
Prior to the 2015 season, the team signed fifth-year CB Davon House, who made an immediate impact in the defensive backfield. Walker helped House set a Jaguars single-season record with a career-high 23 passes defensed, surpassing the longstanding mark held by Rashean Mathis (21 in 2004 and 2006). House’s 23 passes defensed were tied for the fifth-most by an NFL player since 2011 and third-most in the NFL in 2015.
Walker has worked closely with a group of young defensive backs the last three seasons. The Jaguars have drafted seven defensive backs in that spans with Johnathan Cyprien (2013, strong safety), Josh Evans (2013, free safety), Dwayne Gratz (2013, cornerback), Jeremy Harris (2013, cornerback) Demetrius McCray (2013, cornerback), Aaron Colvin (2014, cornerback) and James Sample (2015, safety). Cyprien led the team with 111 tackles (77 solo) in 2014, third-most among all NFL defensive backs, and ranked seventh among NFL DBs with 107 tackles (77 solo) in 2015.
Walker played a vital role in the development of the team’s young secondary in 2013, which featured three rookie starters in Cyprien, Evans and Gratz. Cyprien finished second on the team and first among NFL rookie defensive backs with 98 tackles and added two forced fumbles and one interception.
Walker compiled a 10-40 record during his tenure at New Mexico State. In 2011, the Aggies finished with a 4-9 mark with wins over Big Ten opponent Minnesota, the first in school history, a third straight win against in-state rival New Mexico, a home win over Idaho and a program first victory against Fresno State.
The Aggies had five players earn All-Western Athletic Conference honors in 2011, the most since joining the WAC and since the 2002 season. Kick returner/wide receiver Taveon Rogers was named to five All-America teams as he led the team with 1,318 kickoff return yards and three touchdowns. He ranked second in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 196.3 and had a team-high 59 catches for 1,048 yards and nine touchdowns. Running back Kenny Turner, who rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns, was named a second team All-WAC selection. Turner became just the second 1,000-yard rusher for the Aggies since the 2000 season. Donyae Coleman also thrived under Walker’s system, leading the Aggies in tackles with 133 and interceptions with six. He led the WAC interceptions and ranked seventh in the country. The 2010 season was a turning point for the Aggie football team regardless of the 2-10 overall record. Walker helped the Aggies to their second win over in-state rival New Mexico in as many years, making it the first time since the 1998 and 1999 seasons that New Mexico State put together two straight wins against the Lobos. Walker tutored defensive back Davon House to first team all-WAC honors as he finished his career with 11 interceptions, while leading the team with three INTs in 2010. House was a fourth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Despite a 3-10 overall record and a 1-7 mark in WAC play in 2009, the Aggies finished the year in the top six in the conference in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. New Mexico State was ranked 36th in the nation in pass defense and 54th in pass defense efficiency. The Aggies also beat in-state rival New Mexico in Albuquerque for the first time since the 1999 season. House was named a first team All-WAC selection, after leading the league in passes defended and interceptions. House also broke the school record for most interception return yards for a career.
Prior to joining New Mexico State, Walker spent three seasons (2006-08) as UCLA’s defensive coordinator. He served as UCLA’s interim head coach for the 2007 Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl game. In 2008, Walker’s unit finished 48th in the nation in total defense, allowing 337 yards a game. UCLA’s passing defense was atop the nation’s leaders ranking 11th overall and second in the Pac-10, holding its opponents to just 167.6 yards per game through the air. In 2007, the Bruin defense once again found itself listed among the national leaders in several categories. UCLA ranked 14th in rushing defense (109.2 yards per game), 29th in total defense (343.23 yards), 29th in scoring defense (22.3 points) and 32nd in pass efficiency defense (115.26). The Bruins also ranked second nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.77), third in third-down conversion defense (29.1%), tied for 15th in sacks per game average (3.0) and tied for 17th in fumbles caused (14). Defensive backs Trey Brown (tied for first, 1.77/pg) and Alterraun Verner (tied for 11th, 1.46/pg) ranked among the nation’s best in the passes defended category, while defensive end Bruce Davis ranked tied for ninth in the nation in sacks per game (.92).
In 2006, the Bruins were among the national leaders in rushing defense (tied for ninth in the NCAA and tied for first in the Pac-10 with 91.08 yards per game) and total defense (33rd nationally at 304.83) and allowed almost half as many touchdowns (27) as the previous year (48). UCLA allowed 91.1 yards per game, 2.83 yards per rush and just nine touchdowns on the ground, the first time since 1985 that the Bruins had allowed fewer yards per game on the ground. The Bruin defense also ranked fifth nationally in third-down conversion defense (28.4%, 50 of 176).
Walker spent two seasons (2004-05) with the Washington Redskins as secondary coach under head coach Joe Gibbs. In 2005, the Redskins finished 10-6 and won a postseason game. The Redskins led the NFL in lowest opponent completion percentage (54.4) and ranked tied for second in fewest touchdown passes allowed (15), 10th in pass defense (192.6 yards) and 14th (tied) in interceptions (16). Walker played a key role in the development of rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers and the continued fine play of Shawn Springs. In 2004, Walker’s first season in Washington, Springs became the first cornerback in NFL history to lead his team in sacks (five) and interceptions (six) in the same season.
Walker served as secondary coach of the New York Giants from 2002-03 and was associate head coach/secondary coach at Southern California under Pete Carroll in 2001. The Trojans ranked seventh in the nation with 19 interceptions and were 16th in pass defense (179.2) and fewest touchdown passes allowed (11). He was secondary coach with the New England Patriots for three seasons (1998-2000), the first two under Carroll and his final season under Bill Belichick. During Walker’s tenure with the Patriots, defensive backs Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy each earned trips to the Pro Bowl.
Walker began his coaching career at Mt. San Antonio College (1988-1992) and also had stints at Utah State (1993), Brigham Young (1994), Oklahoma State (1995) and California (1996-97). He participated in the NFL’s minority coaching internship program, working with the San Francisco 49ers in 1996 and the Patriots in 1997.
A former cornerback, Walker played three seasons professionally, one in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1982 and two in the USFL with the Arizona Outlaws in 1983 and Oakland Invaders in 1984. He was a two-year starter at Minnesota from 1980-81 after spending his first two years at Pasadena City College. Walker earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Regents College in 1992. He and his wife, Zan, have two daughters, Kesha and Kendra, and a son, Kevan.
COACHING BACKGROUND: Mt. San Antonio College 1988-1992, Utah State 1993, Brigham Young 1994, Oklahoma State 1995, California 1996-97, New England Patriots 1998-2000, Southern California 2001, New York Giants 2002-03, Washington Redskins 2004-05, UCLA 2006-08, New Mexico State 2009-12 (head coach), Jacksonville Jaguars 2013-16.