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A defensive coordinator typically refers to a coach on an American football team who is in charge of the defense. Generally, along with his offensive counterpart, he represents the second level of command structure after the head coach. The defensive coordinator is generally in charge of managing all defensive players and assistant coaches, of developing a general defensive game plan, and of calling the plays for the defense during the game. At higher levels of football (college and professional), the defensive coordinator typically has a number of assistant coaches working under him; usually coaches primarily responsible for the various defensive positions on the team (such defensive line, linebackers, or defensive backs).

Noted current and former NFL defensive coordinators

Note: Defensive coordinators marked with a * served as head coaches at some point during their career

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