Phil Snow is in his first season as Baylor defensive coordinator. He arrived with head coach Matt Rhule following four seasons in the same role at Temple.
A veteran with 34 years of collegiate coaching experience, Snow has served as defensive coordinator at seven previous schools, among them UCLA, Washington, Arizona State and Boise State. He also coached four seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions.
He spent four seasons at Temple under Rhule, and his squad led the AAC in defense in both 2015 and 2016. The 2016 defense ranked third nationally in total defense (allowing just 282.5 yards per game) and 11th in scoring (18.4 ppg) to help lead TU to an AAC championship and 10-4 record.
Snow's 2015 defense at Temple led the conference in most defensive categories, including rushing and scoring, and boasted his fifth first-team All-American in linebacker Tyler Matakevich.
The 2014 Owls' defense ranked fourth nationally in scoring (17.5 ppg, an improvement from 29.8 the previous season). Temple made 30 takeaways to rank among the top five programs nationally (including a nation's-best 19 fumble recoveries). The unit allowed just 186.9 passing yards and nine TD passes on the season.
Prior to Temple, Snow spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Eastern Michigan University.
Under Snow's guidance, EMU ranked 38th nationally and third in the MAC in passing defense in 2012, giving up just 212.75 yards per game. Senior linebacker Justin Cudworth and senior defensive end Andy Mulumba were second-team All-Mid-American Conference honorees.
Snow orchestrated a major turnaround during the 2011 campaign, ranking 35th nationally and third in the MAC in total defense. The Eagles gave up 350.3 yards per game, an improvement of 103.8 yards per contest. In 12 games, the Eagles' defense allowed just 292 points for a total of 24.3 points per game.
From 2005 to 2008, Snow coached in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, where he mentored the linebackers.
Prior to his stint in the NFL, he coached at the University of Washington, in 2004 as the defensive coordinator and 2003 as co-coordinator.
Snow spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator at UCLA, where he mentored current Baylor head coach Matt Rhule during the 2001 season. The Bruin defense led the Pac-10 in total defense in Snow's first season. The unit also finished the season ranked second in the league in rushing defense and scoring defense. In addition, linebacker Robert Thomas, a first round selection by the Rams in the 2002 NFL draft, earned 2001 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Kenyon Coleman was the defensive winner of the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10's best lineman. The 2002 team participated in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Prior to UCLA, Snow spent nine seasons as the defensive coordinator at Arizona State and helped lead the Sun Devils to the 1996 Rose Bowl, 1997 Sun Bowl and 1999 and 2000 Aloha Bowls. The 1996 ASU squad finished fourth in the national polls, and Snow's defense ranked first in the conference in rushing defense (98.0), passing defense (104.2) and total defense (306.2). It held Nebraska scoreless in one game and limited opponents to fewer than 10 points in five games that season.
His defensive units ranked among the top three in scoring defense in the Pac-10 in three of his last five seasons at ASU. In 2000, the Sun Devils led the nation in fumbles recovered and ranked third in the country in turnovers created. The group was headlined by Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Adam Archuleta, and conference freshman of the year, Terrell Suggs.
Snow was defensive backs coach at California from 1987 to 1991. The 1990 and 1991 squads won the first back-to-back bowl games (Copper and Citrus) in school history. The 1991 team moved up as high as No. 6 nationally and played in the school's first New Year's Day bowl game in 33 years.
Prior to Cal, Snow was an assistant at Boise State from 1982 to 1986. He was a defensive backs coach in his first season at Boise before becoming the defensive coordinator in 1983 and holding that position through the 1986 season. In addition, he was the top assistant to the head coach from 1984 to 1986. His Boise State defense ranked sixth in the nation in 1986.
Snow took his first collegiate job at Laney College in 1979 as a defensive backs coach before taking over as the defensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981.
A 1978 graduate of Cal-State Hayward, Snow began his coaching career at the high school level, coaching at Berkeley (Calif.) High School in 1976 and at his high school alma mater, Winters (Calif.) High School, from 1977 to 1978.
The Woodland, Calif., native, earned his associate's degree at Sacramento City College in 1975 before completing his bachelor's at Cal-State Hayward. Snow and his wife, Debra, have two sons, Philip (a golf letterman at Nevada) and Jacob.