Those who were concerned about a possible defensive dropoff after the departure of Jim Leavitt needn’t worry anymore. The Colorado Buffaloes have imported a replacement from the SEC.

On Thursday, University of Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre announced the hiring of D.J. Eliot as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The three-year deal is still subject to approval by the CU Board of Regents.

Eliot joins the Buffs from the Kentucky Wildcats, where he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the least four seasons. At Kentucky, the 40-year-old ran the same scheme as CU, who ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 last season.

“I’m excited about having D.J. Eliot as our defensive coordinator, he brings a lot of expertise and energy to our defense,” said MacIntyre. “Also he is one of the great, young defensive minds in the game of college football today.”

Prior to joining the Wildcats, Eliot coached the defensive ends at Florida State. His coaching career has also included stops at Rice, Tulsa and Texas State. He also served as a graduate assistant at Miami (Fla.), Houston and Wyoming.

Eliot is expected to arrive in Boulder on Friday, so he can participate in Colorado’s recruiting weekend.