Tulsa hires Nelson as co-defensive coordinator

TULSA, Okla. -- Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe hired former Baylor assistant Mark Nelson as his new co-defensive coordinator on Wednesday.

Nelson, who was a defensive assistant and special teams coordinator for Baylor the past three seasons, will coach the defensive line for defending Conference USA champion Tulsa.

He'll split defensive coordinator duties with Keith Patterson, who was promoted from linebackers coach after defensive coordinator Todd Graham became the new head coach at Rice.

"I'm excited about the hiring of Mark Nelson as our new defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our football program and will be a tremendous contributor to our staff," Kragthorpe said in a statement. "Mark will have a significant role in the coordination of our run defense."

Nelson, 49, previously coached at Kentucky, Arkansas Tech and Valdosta State. A graduate of East Central University in Ada, he also played seven seasons and coached five more in the Canadian Football League.