(FootballSTL) -- St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has officially hired Tim Walton to serve as the team’s next defensive coordinator, the team announced Friday.
Coach Jeff Fisher was expected to discuss the hiring Friday afternoon. He said in a release that the 41-year-old Walton, the secondary coach the past four seasons with the Detroit Lions, was in the same system the Rams are using.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add Coach Walton to our staff,” Fisher said. “He will be a huge asset to our staff and we are all looking forward to working with him.”
Fisher was among three former defensive coordinators who shared responsibilities in his first season in St. Louis after Williams was suspended. Williams was reinstated last week and hired by the Titans, where he previously worked under Fisher as a senior defensive assistant.
Earlier in the offseason, the Rams were close to hiring Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. Instead, they will go with Walton, who was also the third-down package coach for the Lions last season. The Lions were 10th in the NFL in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert 36.5 percent of their chances.
Before coaching the Lions, Walton spent 14 seasons in the collegiate ranks. Over that period, he coached 13 players who were drafted in the NFL, including five first-round picks and four second-round picks.
At the college level, Walton had two stints as defensive coordinator. He held the position at Memphis in 2008 and Miami in 2007. As a Hurricane, Walton helped propel them to 33rd nationally in total defense.
In 2005, Walton’s pass defense led the nation. That team featured All-Americans safety Brandon Meriweather and cornerback Kelly Jennings as well as Freshman All-American Kenny Phillips, all who were eventually drafted in the NFL.
Walton also served as defensive backs coach at LSU in 2003, winning a national championship and a SEC title. Three years before that, Walton was at Memphis when the defense ranked fifth in the country. He left Memphis to coach defensive backs at Syracuse for the 2002 season.
Walton began his coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant at Bowling Green in 1995. He was promoted to running backs coach in 1996 and then moved to coach the defensive backs in 1999.
Before his coaching days, Walton was a defensive back at Ohio State, where he lettered all four seasons and served as co-captain for the Big Ten champions in 1993.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.