UTEP head football coach Dana Dimel announced the hiring of Matt Wallerstedt as defensive quality control on Thursday afternoon.
“Wallerstedt is a tremendous teacher and has great experience as a coordinator at the Power Five level as well as Group of Five level,” said Dimel. “He coaches with great passion that players enjoy.”
Wallerstedt is a veteran coach with more than 25 years of coaching experience and previously served as the defensive coordinator for Charlotte the last three seasons (2015-17).
During the 2017 season, Wallerstedt mentored All-Conference USA honorable mention Ben DeLuca. The sophomore led the 49ers defense with 102 tackles, six pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles. DeLuca finished the season ranked first in the league in fumbles forced and fumble recoveries. The defensive back also checked in at no. 4 in C-USA in tackles. Previously, he was named 2016 Pro Football Focus All-America Freshman and C-USA All-Freshman.
Wallerstedt spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Texas Tech (2013-14) under head coach Kliff Kingsbury. During the 2013 season, the Red Raiders went 8-5 overall, including a Holiday Bowl win versus no. 16 Arizona State. Texas Tech finished ranked third in the Big 12 in pass defense (217.1 yards per game). Senior Will Smith finished the season ranked third in the league in tackles (120) and 11th in sacks (0.35 average per game). Teammate Kerry Hyder garnered All-Big 12 Second Team honors.
Wallerstedt also spent six years at Wyoming (1997-2002) working with the defensive line and inside linebackers. He was promoted to the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator from 2000-02. Wallerstedt coached for Dimel for three seasons (1997-99). With Dimel, Wallerstedt helped generate one eight-win season (1998, 8-3) and two seven-win campaigns (1997 and 1999). He coached Patrick Chukwurah, who was a three-year starter and racked up 245 tackles and 27 sacks. As a senior, he earned first team All-Mountain West Conference honors. In 2001, Chukwurah was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings.
Wallerstedt was a four-year letterman at Kansas State, leading the Wildcats in tackles as a junior and senior. The linebacker earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1987. During his senior season, Wallerstedt was co-MVP and the Wildcats team captain.