After a long search, the Rams officially named Tim Walton the team’s new defensive coordinator on Friday afternoon.
In adding Walton to the staff, the Rams defensive coaching staff adds another talented piece to an experienced, veteran group.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add Coach Walton to our staff,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “Tim is a talented coach and he’s spent the last four years working in our system. He will be a huge asset to our staff and we are all looking forward to working with him.”
Walton’s hiring comes after a long process that has seen the Rams without a defensive coordinator in any sort of official capacity for the better part of the past year. Fisher originally named Gregg Williams defensive coordinator but Williams was suspended for the season for his role in a bounty program with New Orleans.
Instead of replacing Williams right away, Fisher and the Rams opted to go with a committee approach, relying on Fisher, assistant head coach Dave McGinnis and linebackers coach Blake Williams along with the rest of the defensive staff to implement the system.
The younger Williams was not retained as his contract expired at the end of the season and the Rams replaced him with yet another veteran coach in Frank Bush.
Over the course of the past month and a half or so, Fisher has taken his time making a hire, having discussions with Rob Ryan, Dick Jauron, Mike Singletary and, eventually, Walton.
When all was said and done, it was Walton who represented the best match. He spent the past four seasons as the secondary coach in Detroit, working under Fisher protégé Jim Schwartz, who runs a similar defensive scheme.
Walton is also the coach who helped give Brandon Fisher, the current Rams assistant secondary coach and son of Jeff, his first NFL coaching opportunity in the same role with the Lions.
The upcoming season will be Walton’s 19th coaching. Before working in the Motor City, Walton spent 14 years at the collegiate level, including two stints as a defensive coordinator.
Walton’s first coordinator opportunity came at the University of Miami in 2007 after spending the three previous seasons as secondary coach for the Hurricanes. The Miami secondary ranked ninth in pass defense in 2004 and first in 2005. Future NFL draft picks such as Brandon Meriweather, Kelly Jennings and Kenny Phillips learned under Walton before heading to the league.
Walton moved on to coordinate the defense at Memphis in 2008 before making the leap to the NFL in 2009. In his time coaching at the collegiate level, he guided 13 players who would go on to be drafted, including five first-round picks and four second-round selections.
Before his time at Miami, Walton had stops at LSU, where he helped the Tigers secondary to a BCS national title, and a first stint at Memphis in 2000-2001.
Walton’s coaching career began at Bowling Green in 1995 where he held the title of defensive graduate assistant. He worked with running backs in 1996 and got his first work with defensive backs in 1999.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Walton has had three summer internships with NFL teams. He spent the summer of 1998 serving as a defensive intern with the Bears, the summer of 2001 in the same role for Green Bay and in 2004 with Tampa Bay under current Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin.
Walton’s playing career consisted of four letter-winning years at Ohio State where he was a co-captain for the Big 10 Conference champions in 1993. Walton and his wife, Tracy, have three children: Trei, Timia and Tyler.