Rick Minter is entering his second season as defensive coordinator of the Thundering Herd
In 2008, the Thundering Herd defense produced nine interceptions and recovered five fumbles after managing only four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in the previous year. The unit also produced first-team all-conference selection Albert McClellan at defensive end.
Minter most recently served as the defense coordinator for Notre Dame from 2005-06 and helped the Irish to two BCS Bowls. He coached a 2005 unit that produced 24 turnovers while contributing to Notre Dame's plus-10 turnover margin. The Irish defense limited opponents to only a 35 percent success rate on third downs while Notre Dame foes scored touchdowns on only 56 percent of red zone opportunities.
Minter made major improvements in the South Carolina defense in 2004 under Lou Holtz. The Gamecocks ranked 20th nationally in total defense and 15th nationally in pass defense. Among his pupils was freshman free safety Ko Simpson, who earned second-team All-America honors and ranked third nationally in interceptions.
During 10 seasons as head coach at Cincinnati, Minter led the Bearcats to four postseason bowl games and was the winningest coach in the program's history. Minter's 2002 team was co-champion of Conference USA. His 1997 team finished 8-4 after a Humanitarian Bowl victory over Utah State, marking the first bowl appearance for Cincinnati since 1951. Minter's Bearcats had three straight seven-win campaigns from 2000-2002 - and all three seasons resulted in postseason bowl invitations.
In 2000, kicker Jonathan Ruffin became the program's first consensus All-America selection, as Ruffin led the nation in field goals and won the Lou Groza Award as the top kicker in the country. During Minter's eight seasons in Conference USA, the Bearcats produced 26 first-team all-league selections, including 1 on defense.
It was during his first stint at Notre Dame from 1992-93 that Minter earned a national reputation of being one of the top defensive minds in college football. The 1993 Irish defense held nine of its 12 opponents under 100 yards rushing en route to an 11-1 season and runner-up finish in the national championship race. Notre Dame finished that season with the nation's fourth-best rushing defense, with three of Minter's defenders earning first-team All-America honors.
The 1992 Notre Dame defense allowed an average of just 91 yards rushing and 277 total yards over the last nine games of the season, as the Irish posted a 10-1-1 mark, won the Cotton Bowl and were ranked fourth in the final polls. That season also saw the Notre Dame defense finish ninth nationally in rushing defense, with cornerback Tom Carter earning All-America honors. During his first two seasons at Notre Dame, Minter coached 21 defensive players who went on to play professionally in the NFL.
Prior to joining the Notre Dame staff, Minter served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Ball State for seven seasons, annually developing units that were ranked among the national leaders. The 1991 Ball State squad was ranked ninth in the country in scoring defense, 11th in total defense and 16th in passing defense. A year earlier, in 1990, the Cardinals were second in the nation in total defense, third in pass and scoring defense and 10th in rush defense.
Ball State combined for a 28-15-2 mark over his final four seasons in Muncie from 1988-91, including a Mid-American Conference title and Raisin Bowl appearance in 1989 that marked the Cardinals' first bowl participation in 22 years. During Minter's seven seasons under head coach Paul Schudel, Ball State produced nine all-Mid-American Conference players on defense, including three-time MAC Defensive Player of the Year (1987-89) Gary Garnica.
Minter also has collegiate coaching experience at New Mexico State, North Carolina State, Louisiana Tech and Arkansas, where he was a graduate assistant under Holtz in 1978.
Born on Oct. 4, 1954 in Nash, Texas, Minter is a graduate of Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas. He was a three-year starter at defensive end at Henderson State, where he earned both his bachelor's (1977) and master's degrees (1978) in education. Minter is the father of two sons - Josh, who resides in New York City, and Jesse, who resides in Cincinnati where he is a graduate assistant with the UC Bearcat football program.