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Defensive line coach hired


Brian Baker, a veteran of 13 years as an NFL assistant and 12 as a college coach - including 11 in the Atlantic Coast Conference - has been named the Carolina Panthers defensive line coach, the team announced Friday.

Baker joins the Panthers after spending the last three seasons as the defensive line coach for St. Louis. In 2008, he presided over a Rams defensive line that accounted for 20 of the team's 30 sacks and ranked 11th in the NFL in sacks per pass play.

"We are pleased to welcome Brian Baker to our coaching staff," said head coach John Fox. "Brian is a veteran coach and excellent teacher who has thorough knowledge of the game. We look forward to the energy and style he will bring to our club."

He previously worked in the NFL with Minnesota, Detroit and San Diego, gaining experience coaching the defensive line and linebackers. While with the Vikings from 2001-05, Baker was instrumental in the development of defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who earned Associated Press All-Pro honors in 2004. During his four seasons with the Lions from 1997-2000, defensive end Robert Porcher was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1997 and 1999 and defensive tackle Luther Elliss was chosen in 1999 and 2000. Baker made his NFL coaching debut with the Chargers in 1996.

Before coming to the NFL, Baker made his mark in the ACC. From 1987-95, he coached outside linebackers at Georgia Tech, adding the title of defensive coordinator in 1995. There, Baker contributed to the staff that helped the Yellow Jackets win the National Championship as the nation's only unbeaten team with an 11-0-1 record in 1990. He began his coaching career at Maryland, where he coached outside linebackers from 1984-85.

A native of Baltimore, Baker played outside linebacker at Maryland from 1981-83, helping the Terrapins win the ACC in 1983. He replaces Sal Sunseri, who was named assistant head coach/linebackers coach at the University of Alabama last month.

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