Oregon names Keith Heyward as safeties coach

Oregon head coach Willie Taggart has hired Keith Heyward as safeties coach, it was announced via press release on Wednesday.

Keith Heyward (from

Heyward comes to Oregon after a year working as the Louisville Cardinal’s defensive backs coach. Prior to Louisville he spent four seasons in the Pac-12 working under former Washington and USC head coach Steve Sarkisian. At Washington, Heyward coached first-round draft pick Desmond Trufant and a secondary that finished 23rd in the nation in pass defense in 2012. He worked closely with Adoree’ Jackson, an All-Pac-12 first-team player, at USC in 2015 and helped the Trojans qualify for the Pac-12 championship game and Holiday Bowl.

Heyward got his start coaching in 2008 at his alma mater, Oregon State, where he was the defensive backs coach for three seasons. At Oregon State, he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and on the field, was a four-year letterman cornerback and earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention as a senior.

This is the fourth position coach to be hired by head coach Willie Taggart. Jim Leavitt is the new defensive coordinator, Jimmie Dougherty is the new wide receivers coach, Donte Pimpleton is the new running backs coach and Charles Clark is set to coach cornerbacks.

Heyward replaces John Neal, who had coached defensive backs since 2003.

Follow Zak Laster on Twitter @zlast3445


Zak Laster

Zak Laster