Cosh Added to Wildcat Defensive Staff

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder has announced that Chris Cosh, who has spent the last three seasons at Maryland leading the Terrapin defense, has been named Assistant Head Coach and Co-Defensive Coordinator for the Wildcats.


Cosh, who will have now served as a defensive coordinator in four of the six BCS conferences, will also oversee the linebacker position at K-State, a position he held under Snyder in 2004 and 2005.

This past season, the Terrapins (7-5) ended the regular season 35th nationally in scoring defense (21.4 points per game) and were led by All-ACC performers Alex Wujciak at linebacker and Jeremy Navarre on the defensive line.


In 2007, the Terrapin defense was highlighted by first-team All-ACC performers Erin Henderson and Dre Moore. Henderson led the league in tackles from his weakside linebacker spot, while Moore, a defensive tackle, went on to become a fourth-round draft choice of Tampa Bay in the 2008 NFL Draft.

In addition, linebacker Dave Philistin was fourth in the ACC in tackles and defensive lineman Carlos Feliciano and defensive back Isaiah Gardner were also signed as free agents after the draft.

Cosh's defense ended the year at No. 24 nationally in scoring defense (21.5 points per game) and No. 33 in pass defense (210.69 yards per game). The group posted eight more sacks and five more interceptions than the previous year.

In 2006, Cosh was responsible for a unit that contributed to the school's first nine-win season in three years, and finished the year with a 24-7 victory over Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl. The Terps defense held the opposition to an average of 21.8 points per game. Under Cosh's leadership, the defense marked breakout performances by cornerback Josh Wilson and Henderson, who each earned All-ACC honors.

Wilson went on to become a second-round choice of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2007 NFL Draft, while DL Conrad Boston (Minnesota Vikings) and LB David Holloway (Arizona Cardinals) signed free-agent contracts.

Prior to his stint at Maryland, Cosh spent the 2004-05 seasons under Snyder as linebackers coach at Kansas State. The Wildcat defense ranked 30th nationally in 2005 allowing an average of 128.9 rushing yards per game. Junior linebacker Brandon Archer was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2005, an accolade which came a year after Cosh helped coach the newcomer to second-team honors in his first year as a starter.

In the five years prior to his first stop in Manhattan, Cosh served under Lou Holtz as linebackers coach (1999-2002) and defensive coordinator (2003) at South Carolina.

In his tenure at USC, he helped produce some of the Southeastern Conference's top linebackers with Kalimba Edwards (two-time first team all-league, Butkus and Lombardi Awards finalist in 2001) among them. His resume as a position coach also includes tutoring New York Jets first-round pick and Pro Bowler John Abraham (1999) and freshman All-American Lance Laury (2002).

During his time in Columbia, S.C., the Gamecocks won back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.

In addition to serving under coaching legends Snyder and Holtz (whom he also worked under as a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech), Cosh was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State under former Miami Dolphins and current Alabama head coach Nick Saban, one of the top defensive minds in football. In his lone season (1998) in East Lansing, Mich., the Spartans upset No. 1 Ohio State and knocked off Notre Dame. Cosh's unit helped spark those wins with the 10th-ranked pass defense in the nation.

During his first tour of duty at Maryland in 1997, Cosh coached the linebackers while also heading up the team's recruiting efforts. In that one year with the Terps, linebackers Eric Barton and Kendal Ogle finished second and third, respectively, in the ACC in tackles.

The greatest testament to his skill as a coach of linebackers may have come in his previous job at Illinois (defensive coordinator from 1992-96) when he led Dana Howard (1994) and Kevin Hardy (1995) to consecutive Butkus Awards. Howard posted a Big Ten record in tackles in 1994.

He also oversaw a defense which saw DE Simeon Rice earn consensus All-America honors before being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals. Fellow LB John Holecek also went on to a career in the NFL.

A former linebacker who earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Virginia Tech in 1983, Cosh also got his start in coaching in Blacksburg, Va., where he was a student assistant during the 1983 season. He then made five different stops (Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Southeast Missouri State, UNLV and two tours at Minnesota) before settling in at Illinois. In all but one of those full-time jobs he worked either as defensive coordinator or linebackers coach.

Cosh and his wife, Mary, have two sons, J.J., who is a member of the football team at the United States Naval Academy, and Billy, a junior in high school. Cosh is a native of Washington, D.C., and graduated from Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md. He was chosen Metro Defensive Player of the Year while serving as captain at Bishop McNamara before moving onto Virginia Tech where he led the Hokies in tackles in 1980.