Houston Cougars fire defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio

HOUSTON – The Houston Cougars have begun their search for a new defensive coordinator after head coach Major Applewhite announced on Sunday that Mark D’Onofrio had been relieved of those duties.

“I appreciate Mark for being a great professional and hard worker as a part of our staff,” Applewhite said. “He and his family have shown complete dedication to the Houston football program and our student-athletes while on our team.”

D’Onofrio was hired as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach on Jan. 6, 2017. He had spent the previous five seasons as defensive coordinator at Miami.

This season the Cougars defense ranked in the bottom 10 in yards allowed, with 489 yards allowed per game (seventh worst in the country). The team also allowed 34.4 points per game.

Within the 12-team American Athletic Conference, the Cougars' defense ranked 10th, allowing 291 points in eight games, an average of 36.38 points per game.