Monday, February 16, 2004

Kerry Cook named defensive backs coach at Western

February 16, 2004
Contact: Jason Kaufman

FOR TRANSACTIONS: Kerry Cook named defensive backs coach at Western
Illinois University.

Cooks Hired as Leatherneck Defensive Backs Coach
Former K-State assistant is first of several Western Illinois hires

MACOMB, Ill. - Head Coach Don Patterson has announced the hiring of
former Kansas State assistant coach Kerry Cooks as Western Illinois
University’s defensive backs coach. Cooks replaces Richie Solomon who
was hired as the assistant head coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

Cooks joined the Kansas State staff as a graduate assistant in January
2003, working primarily with defensive game preparation and assisting
with the Wildcats’ secondary during their Big XII championship season.
The 11-4 Wildcats finished the season ranked sixth in the nation in
total defense, eighth in scoring defense, 12th in pass efficiency
defense and 17th in rushing defense while earning a trip to the
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The K-State defense allowed just four touchdowns
in the last 24 quarters of the regular season and limited each of its
last six opponents to 14 points or less, including the nation’s most
prolific scoring offense Oklahoma (seven points). The Wildcats also
held four of their final six regular season opponents under 200 yards
of total offense and led all of Division I-A in sacks with 51.

“We’re extremely fortunate to hire a coach of Kerry’s caliber,”
remarked Patterson. “He experienced great success as a player and he
has been extremely well-taught by Bob Elliott, one of the very best
secondary coaches in the business. In addition to being an outstanding
coach, Kerry will serve as a great role model for our entire team.”

The Irving, Texas, native was drafted in the fifth round of the 1998
NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and played safety and special teams
for the Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons during his
three-year NFL career. Recruited by Patterson at Iowa, he was a
four-year letterwinner for the Hawkeyes, earning first-team all-Big Ten
recognition as a safety and being named the team’s most valuable
defensive player as a senior in 1997. He helped lead the Hawkeyes to
bowl games in each of his last three years, including wins over
Washington in the 1995 Sun Bowl and Texas Tech in the 1996 Alamo Bowl,
and an appearance in the 1997 Sun Bowl. Iowa finished in the nation’s
top 25 in both 1995 and 1996, including No. 18 at the end of the 1996
campaign. Cooks earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa in 2000 and
married the former Valencia Mitchell in July 2002.

Cooks is the first of four hirings to be made this winter by Patterson.
A defensive coordinator, defensive line coach and offensive line coach
are expected to be named this week.

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