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UNLV hires Cal linebacker coach as defensive coordinator

California outside linebackers coach Keith Heyward will be UNLV’s new defensive coordinator, a person close to the team confirmed Friday.

UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo and Heyward served together on the staff of Mario Cristobal at Oregon in 2019. At the time, Arroyo was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Heyward was co-defensive coordinator and the safeties coach.

Both also held the position of assistant head coach for Cristobal. Oregon won the Pac-12 title and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl during that season.

UNLV’s previous defensive coordinator, Peter Hansen, left to take the inside linebackers job with the Denver Broncos on Feb. 8.

Heyward began his career as a graduate assistant for Oregon State in 2005 before taking a position as a linebackers coach at Cal Poly. He returned to the Beavers in 2008 as a defensive backs coach before leaving to take the same position at Washington in 2012.

Heyward’s next step took him to USC, where he was in charge of defensive backs and held the title of passing game coordinator, before taking the Oregon job in 2017.

He spent one season at Cal as the outside linebackers coach.

Adam Hill and Sam Gordon contributed reporting to this story.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.

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