LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- D.J. Eliot, the University of Kentucky defensive coordinator who came with head coach Mark Stoops when he moved to Lexington from Florida State, is leaving the program to take a "similar position" at the University of Colorado, according to the web site FootballScoop.com.

Eliot was the first assistant hired by Stoops, but came under some speculation early last season when Stoops moved to take over defensive play calling after several poor defensive performances.

Stoops went out of his way to say at the time that he wasn't displeased with Eliot's work, only that he felt the need to do take some pressure off him.

“I want to be very clear about this, there’s no way we would have this success without Coach Eliot putting a lot of this together,” Stoops said. “I really helped eliminate some of that, some of the pressure of calling the game, because we work well together. We always have. So the structure of it is very good.”

As the defense improved, Stoops also shared credit with Eliot. Nine of the Wildcats' top 11 tacklers from last season will return.

Neither Stoops nor the UK sports information office has confirmed Eliot's departure, and it's not known whether Stoops would hire another defensive coordinator or reconfigure the staff in another way.

Colorado is looking to replace defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, who left for the same job at Oregon. Leavitt, the former head coach at South Florida, helped Colorado to a 10-4 record last season, |winning the Pacific-12 South Division.

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