After weeks of speculation, and a few days of drama, it’s all over; the Bulls have new defensive coordinator. As expected Coach Skip Holtz announced that Chris Cosh, who served as Kansas State’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the past three seasons, is taking over the Bulls defense. Cosh will replace Mark Snyder who took the sane job at Texas A&M.
Cosh, a 28-year coaching veteran, has been Kansas State’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the past three seasons. Cosh has served as a defensive coordinator for 15 of his 28 seasons coaching, including Kansas State, Maryland, South Carolina, Michigan St. and Illinois.
“I’m excited that Chris has agreed to be the defensive coordinator here,” said Holtz. "I’ve got great respect for him as a teacher and communicator."
Cosh helped rebuild the Kansas State defense under Bill Snyder, finishing with a Cotton Bowl appearances in 2011. The Wildcats defense improved drastically in 2011 under Cosh, knocking close to 100 yards per game off their rushing defense to rank 37th nationally. K-State gave up less than 400 yards per game and under 28 points despite playing in a conference that had six of the nation’s top 13 offenses.
Cosh’s defense produced three All-Big 12 performers last year, including linebacker Arthur Brown. In 2010, Cosh helped direct a Wildcat defense that saw a true freshman earn All-Big 12 honors when safety Ty Zimmerman had a breakout rookie season. Zimmerman was named to numerous Freshman All-America teams and received votes for the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award after recording 74 tackles, three interceptions, three pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.
In 2009 K-State's defense made huge strides from 2008 under Cosh, improving from 117th nationally in total defense in 2008 to No. 39 in 2009. The 2009 K-State defense yielded just 105.4 yards per game on the ground, which ranked 16th nationally, and only gave up 339.9 total yards per contest. Led by All-Big 12 selections Tysyn Hartman and Jeffrey Fitzgerald, K-State finished in the top half of the Big 12 rankings in rushing defense, total defense and turnover margin.
Prior to Cosh’s arrival, the Wildcats finished 110th (35.8 ppg) in the country in scoring defense. Under Cosh, KSU has finished 68th in 2011 (29.2), 78th in 2010 (29.1) and 46th in 2009 (23.3).
As Maryland's defensive coordinator, the Terrapins were ranked 35th nationally in scoring defense (21.4 ppg) and were led by All-ACC performers Alex Wujciak at linebacker and d-lineman Jeremy Navarre. In 2007, Maryland was ranked No. 24 in scoring defense (21.5 ppg) and No. 33 in pass defense (210.69 ypg), posting eight more sacks and five more interceptions than the previous year. They wereled by first-team All-ACC performers Erin Henderson and Dre Moore. Henderson led the league in tackles as weakside linebacker, while D-tackle Moore was a fourth-round draft choice of Tampa Bay in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Cosh also worked with Skip while serving under Lou Holtz as linebackers coach (1999-2002) and defensive coordinator (2003) at South Carolina. At USC, he helped produce some of the SEC's top linebackers with Kalimba Edwards (two-time first team all-league, Butkus and Lombardi Awards finalist in 2001), New York Jets first-round pick and Pro Bowler John Abraham (1999) and freshman All-American Lance Laury (2002).
Cosh was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State under former Miami Dolphins and current Alabama head coach Nick Saban. In his one season (1998), the Spartans upset No. 1 Ohio State and knocked off Notre Dame. Cosh's unit had the 10th-ranked pass defense in the nation.
"I’ve got great respect for him as a teacher and communicator. He’s had a lot of success building some of the top programs in the country and I’m looking forward to working with him again here at USF,”said Holtz. “We’re very familiar with each other, having coached together for five years at South Carolina.
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