Kerry Cooks Season 2023
Kerry Cooks joined the LSU coaching staff in December of 2021 after spending two seasons as a defensive analyst on Brian Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame. Cooks coaches the LSU safeties.
In his first season at LSU, Cooks helped the Tigers to a 10-win season and the SEC Western Division title. LSU’s pass defense ranked No. 4 in the SEC in 2022.
Cooks arrived at LSU after enjoying tremendous success as both a player and coach. As team captain at Iowa in 1997, he earned All-Big Ten honors as a defensive back. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He played nine games for the Vikings in 1998 and later spent time on the Packers, Falcons and Jaguars rosters.
As a coach, Cooks has helped team earn bowl appearances 18 times in 20 years. He’s also been part of three College Football Playoff appearances with Oklahoma as well as the BCS National Championship Game with Notre Dame.
At Notre Dame from 2020-21, the Irish won 21 games and reached the College Football Playoffs in 2020. Cooks was also part of Kelly’s first staff at Notre Dame, joining the Irish in 2010. Cooks served on Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame from 2010-14, coaching outside linebackers, cornerbacks and defensive backs during that span. He was co-defensive coordinator for two years (2012-13).
Cooks coached defensive backs at Oklahoma for four years, also serving as assistant defensive coordinator for three seasons. During his four years in Norman, Oklahoma claimed the Big 12 title each season and appeared in the College Football Playoff three times.
As defensive backs coach for the Sooners, Cooks’ secondary consistently ranked near the top of the Big 12 in several passing categories. The Sooners led the Big 12 in fewest passing yards allowed in 2015.
As defensive backs coach at Notre Dame, the Irish boasted one of the nation’s top pass defenses, ranking No. 15 nationally in interceptions in 2014 as well as a No. 15 ranking for pass defense in 2012. The 2012 Notre Dame defense ranked No. 2 in the nation in yards per completion and allowed only 11 passing TDs all year, a figure that ranked sixth nationally. Notre Dame played in the BCS National Championship game that year.
Among the players Cooks developed into NFL Draft picks at Notre Dame include first rounder Harrison Smith (2012) along with Robert Blanton (fifth round in 2012), Jamoris Slaughter (sixth round in 2013), Zeke Motta (seventh round in 2013), and Bennett Jackson (sixth round in 2014).
Other coaching stops for Cooks include Texas Tech (2019), four years at Wisconsin (2006-09) as the defensive backs coach and assistant special teams assistant, and one year as defensive backs coach at Minnesota (2005). He spent the 2004 season at Western Illinois coaching defensive backs and special teams after getting his start in as a graduate assistant at Kansas State in 2003.
In four years at Wisconsin, the Badgers won 38 games, appeared in four bowl games, and led the nation in pass efficiency defense in Cooks’ first season on staff in 2006.
Cooks, a native of Irving, Texas, and his wife Elvem are the parents of two daughters, Kerrington and Kenadee.
Kerry Cooks File
Year at LSU: Second
Hometown: Irving, Texas
Birthdate: March 28, 1974
College: Iowa (2000)
Children: Kerrington and Kenadee
2003 Kansas State (Graduate Assistant)
2004 Western Illinois (Defensive Backs, Asst. Special Teams)
2005 Minnesota (Defensive Backs)
2006-09 Wisconsin (Defensive Backs, Asst. Special Teams)
2010-14 Notre Dame (Outside Linebackers, 2010; Cornerbacks, 2011; Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs, 2012-13; Defensive Backs, 2014)
2015-18 Oklahoma (Defensive Backs, 2015; Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs, 2016-18)
2019 Texas Tech (Safeties)
2020-21 Notre Dame (Defensive Analyst)
2022-23 LSU (Safeties)