Tenuta among top position-coach hires

Something has been missing for N.C. State under Tom O’Brien.

In three seasons under O’Brien, the Wolfpack have yet to post a winning record and have just one bowl appearance. A big reason for the struggles: defense.

The units have been average, at best. Last season, N.C. State ranked No. 8 in the ACC in total defense (361.3 ypg). In 2008, the Wolfpack had the worst defense in the league (390.9 ypg). In 2007, the unit ranked No. 11 (393.9 ypg).

Enter Jon Tenuta.

Tenuta won’t be the defensive coordinator; that job belongs to Mike Archer. But you can bet Tenuta, who will coach linebackers, will have a major impact on N.C. State’s defense.

“He is a longtime friend and will help us,” O’Brien said.

Tenuta has coordinated defenses at Notre Dame (2008-09), Georgia Tech (2002-07), North Carolina (2001), Ohio State (2000), SMU (1990-94), Kansas State (1988) and Marshall (1987). He is known for having aggressive, attacking units. That edgy attitude and style could translate into a more opportunistic defense.