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Chris Cosh
Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers


Chris Cosh, who served as Maryland's linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator in 1997, is in his first year as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Michigan State. Cosh replaces Dean Pees, who was named head coach at Kent State last December.

Cosh was the first assistant hired by Maryland first-year head coach Ron Vanderlinden in '97. His Terrapin linebacker corps produced two of the top tacklers in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Kendall Ogle (138 stops) and Eric Barton (134), who ranked second and third, respectively, in the league in tackles last season.

The 37-year-old Cosh came to Maryland following five seasons at Illinois (1992-96) where he coached under Lou Tepper. He served as the Fighting Illini's defensive coordinator in 1996. During his tenure as inside linebackers coach, Cosh tutored '94 Butkus Award winner Dana Howard.

"Chris Cosh is an outstanding young football coach with a great work ethic," Nick Saban said. "He is quite familiar with the Big Ten after serving as an assistant coach in this league for six years. Chris spent five seasons at Illinois where he helped develop one of the toughest defenses in the Big Ten year in and year out. He has experience as a defensive coordinator so he's been in this position of responsibility before."

"Chris served as the recruiting coordinator at Maryland last year, and he has a proven track record as a recruiter in the Chicago area."

Cosh previously spent one year as defensive line coach for John Gutekunst at Minnesota (1991). His full-time coaching credits also include stops at UNLV (inside linebackers coach, 1990), Southeast Missouri State (defensive coordinator, 1989) and Wisconsin-Oshkosh (defensive coordinator, 1985-88). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Lou Holtz at Minnesota (1984) and his alma mater Virginia Tech (1983).

Cosh played linebacker for Coach Bill Dooley at Virginia Tech where he led the team in tackles as a junior. A recurring neck injury cut short his playing career. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Virginia Tech in 1982.

He earned Washington, D.C., metro player of the year honors as a senior at Bishop McNamara High School.

Cosh and his wife Mary have two sons, J.J. (10) and Billy (6).

The Cosh File

  • Years at Michigan State: First. Joined staff on Jan. 22, 1998, from Maryland.
  • Previous Coaching Experience: College-Graduate assistant at Virginia Tech (1983); graduate assistant at Minnesota (1984); defensive coordinator at Wisconsin-Oshkosh (1985-88); defensive coordinator at Southeast Missouri State (1989); inside linebackers coach at UNLV (1990); defensive line coach at Minnesota (1991); inside linebackers coach at Illinois (1992-96); linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Maryland (1997).
  • Education: Bachelor's degree in education from Virginia Tech in 1982.
  • Playing Experience: College-Three-year letterman as a linebacker at Virginia Tech (1977-79).

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