Boston College head football coach Steve Addazio announced the hiring of Colorado State cornerbacks coach Eric Lewis as the Eagles’ new defensive backs coach on Friday afternoon. The new comes two weeks after Anthony Campanile was hired away by Michigan.
“Eric brings a wealth of experience both at the collegiate and pro level and will be a great mentor to our defensive backs, especially as a former player at the position,” Addazio told BCEagles.com.
Indeed, Lewis boasts an impressive football pedigree, which started in his college days. The Eagles’ newest hire was a four-year starter at San Diego State and finished his career in 1998 with eight interceptions and an Aztecs program record for pass breakups.
In 2003, Lewis began his coaching career at Ball State, spending two years coaching the team’s safeties before taking a position with the Green Bay Packers as a quality control coach for both the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He would return to the college level in 2008 , spending one season coaching cornerbacks at Louisville before taking a pair of defensive coordinator jobs as for Eastern Michigan (2009) and Weber State (2013).
After being hired by Eastern Michigan, Lewis managed to oversee a defense that allowed just 150.1 passing yards per game—a figure which ranked first nationally during the 2009 season. At the same time, though, his defense struggled mightily against the run. Eastern Michigan allowed 276.8 yards per game on the ground—the most in the country—and finished winless with an 0-12 record.
Following the 2009 season, Lewis spent two years out of coaching before accepting a job as a defensive backs coach with Weber State in 2012. He was elevated to defensive coordinator the following season, but once again had a hard time stopping the run. The Wildcats finished the season allowing 242.2 rushing yards per game, the 10th most among FCS teams, and in fact allowed more rushing yards per game than they did passing yards per game. Weber State finished that season giving up 233.6 yards per contest through the air.
Lewis was let go after the season, and since then has ridden the FBS coaching carousel, spending seasons at Buffalo (2014), Georgia State (2015-16), Tennessee (2017), and most recently Colorado State (2018). During this time, Lewis has held positions as a secondary coach (Buffalo, Georgia State, and Colorado State), a quality control assistant (Tennessee), and even as special teams coordinator (Georgia State).
The latest stop for the journeyman coach is with the Eagles, where he’ll be tasked with coaching up a secondary that lost Hamp Cheevers, Will Harris, and Lukas Denis to the NFL, and slot cornerback Taj Amir-Torres to graduation. Lewis isn’t losing the entirety of his talent—Brandon Sebastian will once again be pencilled in as a starter at cornerback after a good end to the 2018 campaign, and Mike Palmer, who appeared in six games, will stake a strong claim to a starting safety spot. However, Lewis will have to find a way to piece together a good secondary without the nation’s leader in interceptions in Cheevers, and BC’s two star safeties.
Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor