Chris Cosh, who has worked with some of the biggest names in college football history and served as a defensive coordinator for 18 of his 32 seasons as a coach, was named the University of Delaware defensive coordinator on Jan. 5, 2017.
A native of Hillcrest Heights, Md. and a 1984 graduate of Virginia Tech, Cosh will also serve as the Blue Hens’ defensive backs coach.
He joins head coach Danny Rocco at Delaware after serving as Rocco’s defensive coordinator last season at the University of Richmond when the Spiders went 10-4 and advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the third straight year, earning a berth in the national quarterfinals.
As defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Richmond in 2016, he guided the Spiders defense to Colonial Athletic Association top five rankings in passing defense (No. 2 at 170.2 yards per game), total defense (No. 3/317.0), scoring defense (No. 5/23.4 points per game), and rushing defense (No. 5/146.8 ypg).
Nationally, the Spiders ranked No. 8 in NCAA FCS in passing yards allowed, No. 11 in total defense, and No. 32 in scoring defense. Four members of the defensive unit – DT Winston Craig, LB Omar Howard, DL Brandon Waller, and Brendan Coniker earned All-CAA honors.
Cosh's expansive career includes stints in five of the six BCS conferences (Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, and Big East) and he has served as defensive coordinator at eight FBS schools, including University of Illinois (1996), Michigan State University (1998), University of South Carolina (2003), University of Maryland (2006-08), Kansas State University (2009-11), University of South Florida (2012), University at Buffalo (2013-14), and University of North Texas (2015).
Among the coaches he has worked with over the years include Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Bill Snyder, and Ralph Friedgen. His college coach at Virginia Tech was Bill Dooley.
Among his higlights are leading Kansas State to a Cotton Bowl appearance in 2011 as part of a defense that ranked in the national top 40 twice, had six All-Big 12 performers, including Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Arthur Brown, and two All-Americans.
Prior to his time at Kansas State, he served as the defensive coordinator at Maryland for three seasons, twice ranking in the top-40 defensively. He tutored six All-ACC performers, including Dre Moore, who was a fourth-round draft choice in the 2008 NFL Draft, and Josh Wilson, who was taken in the second round in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Prior to his stint at Maryland, Cosh made his first stop at Kansas State for two seasons, 2004-05, under head coach Bill Snyder as linebackers coach. The Wildcat defense ranked 30th nationally in 2005. 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 Holtz as linebackers coach (1999-2002) and defensive coordinator (2003) at South Carolina.
While at South Carolina, he helped produce some of the Southeastern Conference's top linebackers, including Kalimba Edwards (two-time first team all-league, Butkus and Lombardi Awards finalist in 2001). 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 Bill Snyder and Holtz, Cosh was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State under current Alabama head coach Nick Saban. 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.
A former linebacker who earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Virginia Tech in 1984, Cosh got his start 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.
Cosh and his wife, Mary, have two sons, J.J., who played football at the U.S. Naval Academy and is enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Notre Dame, and Billy, who played quarterback at Houston and is currently an assistant coach at the University of Indiana.
THE CHRIS COSH FILE
Christopher P. "Chris" Cosh
Born: May 12, 1959
Hometown: Hillcrest Heights, Md. (Bishop McNamara HS)
Playing Career: Linebacker at Virginia Tech, 1977-81
Degree: Virginia Tech '84 (Physical Education)
Family: Wife, Mary; Sons, J.J. and Billy
1983 - Virginia Tech (SA)
1984 - Minnesota (GA)
1985-1988 - Wisconsin-Oshkosh (DC)
1989 - Southeast Missouri St. (DC)
1990 - UNLV (LB)
1991 - Minnesota (DL)
1992-1994 - Illinois (LB)
1995 - Illinois (AHC/LB)
1996 - Illinois (DC/BB)
1997 - Maryland (LB/RC)
1998 - Michigan State (DC)
1999-2002 - South Carolina (LB)
2003 - South Carolina (DC/LB)
2004-2005 - Kansas State (LB)
2006-2008 - Maryland (DC/LB)
2009 - Kansas State (AHC/Co-DC)
2010-2011 - Kansas State (AHC/DC)
2012 - South Florida (DC/LB)
2013-2014 - Buffalo (DC)
2015 - North Texas (DC)
2016 - Richmond (DC)
2017-Present - Delaware (DC/DB)
|Position:||Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach|
|Hometown:||Hillcrest Heights, Md.|
|High School:||Bishop McNamara|
|Alma Mater:||Virginia Tech|