Former Gophers defensive coach Jay Sawvel was named Wake Forest’s new defensive coordinator on Wednesday.
Sawvel spent six seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, including last season as coordinator for the Gophers’ 21st-ranked defense in the nation.
Sawvel considered three job opportunities, including one in the Big Ten, a source told the Star Tribune last month.
“Jay’s background has been running a very similar defensive scheme to what we have run at Wake Forest,” Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson said in a statement. “He has been involved in building winning programs at Minnesota, Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois. His ability to build programs and develop young talent is very impressive.”
Sawvel served as the Gophers defensive backs and special teams coach under Jerry Kill and then Tracy Claeys from 2011 to 2015.
Newly-hired Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck tabbed former Arkansas assistant Robb Smith as his defensive coordinator.
Wake Forest went 7-6 last year, including 3-5 in the ACC, and beat Temple in the Military Bowl.