• A.J. Blum joined the Houston Football program as its defensive line coach on Dec. 22, 2016 following eight seasons as defensive coordinator at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas.
• Blum’s first season on the collegiate level saw defensive tackle Ed Oliver become the first underclassmen to win the Outland Trophy. A consensus All-American, Oliver also ended the season as a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and was named The American’s Defensive Player of the Year.
• Playing nose on a three-man front, Oliver totaled 73 tackles in 12 games, despite missing three quarters of one game and being limited in the next four with a knee injury. His average of 6.1 tackles per game ranked third nationally among all defensive linemen while his 73 total tackles ranked second nationally among defensive tackles.
• Oliver’s 16.5 tackles were second among defensive tackles while his average of 1.38 tackles for loss per game led all defensive linemen in The American.
• The Houston native led UH in tackles for loss (16.5), sacks (5.5), quarterback hurries (7), forced fumbles (2) and blocked kicks (1). He also had three pass breakups and one fumble recovery on the year.
• Oliver was one of three defensive linemen on the three-man front to record at least 4.5 tackles for loss as Nick Thurman totaled 4.5 as part of his 32 tackles and Jerard Carter totaled 5.5 in only five games due to an injury-shortened season.
• Blum was part of a defensive staff helped Houston to a ranking of second in The American in rushing defense (147.9 yards per game), scoring defense (23.8 points per game), pass efficiency defense (121.5) and red zone defense (77.1 percent).
• Having developed 33 players that have advanced to the collegiate level, including 31 defensive linemen, since 2005, Blum makes the jump to the collegiate ranks after 14 years on the high school level, including 13 in the Houston area.
• Blum most recently spent the last eight seasons as assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas, where he worked specifically with the defensive line, developing several players into FBS level talent, including Houston’s Ed Oliver who earned First Team All-America honors from six different outlets following his freshman year with the Cougars.
• Oliver was one of three high school All-Americans developed under Blum’s tutelage, joining Desmond Jackson and Hardreck Walker, who would both go on to play as true freshmen at Texas and Texas A&M, respectively.
• Also in charge of Westfield’s offseason program, Blum helped lead the Mustangs to seven playoff appearances including a current six-season streak.
• Prior to his time at Westfield, he spent six seasons as the defensive line coach at Klein Forest High School where he helped lead the program to four consecutive state playoff appearances from 2005-08 including a run of three straight Class 5A area appearances. A graduate of Ashland University where he was a three-year captain for the Eagles’ Football program, Blum received his coaching start at Livingston High School following a two-year stint as an offensive and defensive lineman in the Arena Football League where he earned Second Team All-AF2 honors in 2000 as a member of the August Stallions.