Joe Lee Dunn
Biographical details
Born (1946-07-14) July 14, 1946 (age 73)
Ozark, Alabama
Alma materUniversity of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Head coaching record
Overall21–37 (college)

Joseph Levi "Joe Lee" Dunn (born July 14, 1946) is an American football coach and former player. As a defensive coordinator, he is known for coaching from the sidelines, seldom using a headset or carrying playsheets, and his aggressive, unorthodox schemes. He is widely credited with inventing the attacking 3-3-5 scheme that has been used by several college and high school teams.[1][2]

Dunn attended the University of Chattanooga, now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he played football from 1965 to 1967. He is a Sigma Chi.

In December 2007, Dunn was enlisted as defensive coordinator at New Mexico State University, serving under head coach Hal Mumme, who compiled a 7–29 record. In December 2008, Mumme was fired, and was later hired as head coach of McMurry University in Texas. Dunn joined Mumme's staff in April 2009 at the Division III school, and is currently serving as defensive coordinator.

From 2006 until 2007, he was the head football coach at Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Tennessee.

From 2003 until 2005, he was the defensive coordinator of the Memphis Tigers football program. He transformed the Tigers defense from a unit that ranked near the bottom statistically in defense, to a top 25 defensive unit. Prior to coaching at Memphis, he was the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State from 1996 to 2002. In 1995, he served as the defensive coordinator at Arkansas, helping the Razorbacks win their first SEC Western Division championship that season.

In 1999, while serving as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Mississippi State University, Dunn was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top college football assistant coach.

From 1992 to 1994, he served as the defensive coordinator at Mississippi. After Billy Brewer was fired just before the 1994 season, Dunn was named head coach and led the Rebels to a 4–7 record. From 1987 to 1988, he had served as South Carolina's defensive coordinator. From 1983 to 1986, he was the head football coach at New Mexico, where he compiled a 17–30 record.

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
New Mexico Lobos (Western Athletic Conference) (1983–1986)
1983 New Mexico 6–6 4–3 4th
1984 New Mexico 4–8 1–7 T–8th
1985 New Mexico 3–8 2–6 7th
1986 New Mexico 4–8 2–5 7th
New Mexico: 17–30 9–21
Ole Miss Rebels (Southeastern Conference) (1994)
1994 Ole Miss 4–7 2–6 T–5th (Western)
Ole Miss: 4–7 2–6
Total: 21–37
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


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