A former All-American lineman for the Wildcats in the 1970s, interior defensive line coach Mo Latimore is the longest tenured assistant coach in the Big 12 Conference and second longest tenured assistant in the country as he enters his 32nd season at Kansas State in 2015.
Latimore has been a fixture at Kansas State since returning to his alma mater in 1994 following a five-year stint at Missouri. He has played an integral role in Kansas State's ascent to one of the nation's elite programs, helping the Wildcats to 12 seasons of nine or more wins and 16 bowl games. He has also been a big reason for K-State's strong presence on defense and has mentored lines that helped the Wildcats rank among the nation's top 10 in total defense several times, including seven top-five rankings (1995, 1997-2002).
During the last 20 seasons, Latimore has helped coach four All-Americans, including first-team honorees Tim Colston (1995) and Mario Fatafehi (2000), two conference Defensive Newcomers of the Year (Fatafehi in 1999 and Tank Reese in 2001) and one conference Defensive Player of the Year (Colston; 1995).
Latimore has tutored an All-Big 12 defensive tackle each of the last four seasons, including two-time selection Travis Britz in 2013 and 2014. Britz started 10 games as a junior in 2014 before an injury sidelined him the rest of the year, but he still managed to come away with 27 tackles, including a career-high tying three sacks. Needing to replace Britz, Latimore tutored and plugged in former walk-on Will Geary, and the line didn't skip a beat as it helped the Wildcat defense rank second in the conference in scoring defense and third in both total and red zone defense.
In addition to Britz, six other Wildcat defenders have earned all-conference honors under Latimore in the last seven seasons, including Vai Lutui, Ray Kibble, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Ian Campbell, Eric Childs and Brandon Harold.
Britz was a 13-game starter in 2013 that made 37 tackles, and he was the national leader with four blocked kicks. Britz followed in Lutui's footsteps, who was also a 13-game starter the year prior that helped K-State rank first in the Big 12 in scoring defense, second in rushing defense and win the Big 12 title for the second time in school history.
Kibble was a mainstay in the middle in 2011 and a big part of K-State's 10-win season and berth in the Cotton Bowl. Defensive tackle Raphael Guidry also made a lasting impact on special teams that season by setting a new K-State record with five blocked kicks.
Campbell earned three straight all-conference awards and left Kansas State as one of the program's best defensive ends. Harold was one of the top freshmen defenders in the country in 2008 and led the nation in sacks and tackles for loss among freshmen defensive linemen.
In 2005, protégé Alphonso Moran received Big 12 All-Freshman honors as well as Honorable Mention Freshman All-America accolades from Sporting News, and, in 2006, Campbell was selected as a consensus First Team All-Big 12 performer as well as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Houston Chronicle. Campbell again added first-team honors in 2007, while defensive end Rob Jackson also garnered all-league accolades in 2008.
In his first season back at his alma mater, Latimore helped guide the Wildcats to the nation's top ranking in total defense, while also coaching Colston to Third Team All-America honors from the Associated Press. In 1995, Latimore helped Colston become the first defensive lineman in school history to earn First Team All-America accolades and Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Beginning in 1997, Latimore coached at least one all-conference linemen for six consecutive seasons, including three first-team honorees. Fatafehi became the first of two Latimore protégés to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors. In 2000, he coached a defensive line that saw three of its four starters (Monty Beisel, Chris Johnson and Fatafehi) earn All-Big 12 honors, while Fatafehi was Latimore's second First Team All-American in six seasons. Also, the line recorded 39 sacks and helped the Cats finish fourth nationally in total defense. Latimore saw his second player, Reese, earn Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors in 2001, as well as first team all-league recognition in both 2001 and 2002.
The 2006 campaign brought even more success as Latimore's unit was at the forefront of a defense that led the Big 12 in sacks and ranked sixth nationally with 40, including a school-record 11.5 by Campbell. The 2007 line ranked second in the Big 12 in sacks, again led by Campbell.
Latimore began his coaching career at K-State in 1976 under Ellis Rainsberger as a graduate assistant. After 10 years in various roles on the Kansas State staff, Latimore moved to UTEP in 1986 under Bob Stull, where he coached the defensive line for three seasons. He helped the Miners to the school's first 10-win season in 1988, which cumulated in the school's first bowl game in 21 years -- the 1988 Independence Bowl. In 1989, Latimore moved with Stull to Missouri, where he coached until 1993.
One of the top linemen in K-State history, Latimore earned Third Team All-America honors and First Team All-Big Eight accolades while also serving as team captain in 1971. Following his collegiate career, he played in the Senior Bowl and North-South Bowl before being drafted in the seventh round by the New York Jets. He went on to play four years in the Canadian Football League with Calgary, Saskatchewan and Hamilton. Latimore transferred to K-State prior to the 1970 season after two years at Hutchinson Junior College. In 2013, Latimore was inducted into the Hutchinson Quarterback Club Hall of Fame.
A native of Byron, Georgia, Latimore, earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1976. He is married to the former D'Anne Mitchell. The couple has two children, M.L. and Mallory.