A gaggle of outlets, including Irish247 and The Football Brainiacs, are reporting that Notre Dame secondary coach Kerry Cooks is heading to Oklahoma, presumably to fill the opening created by Bobby Jack Wright's retirement.
Interestingly, TFB says Cooks will oversee the entire secondary. Wright coached cornerbacks in his final two years on Bob Stoops' staff, while Mike Stoops had responsibility for safeties. Assuming TFB is correct, where does that put Mike?
One unlikely possibility is that OU's embattled defensive coordinator won't be coaching in Norman next year. For starters, I can't envision a scenario in which the Sooners' head coach is going to can his brother. Furthermore, that would require the Bob hiring someone to join Jerry Montgomery, who was recently elevated to the position of co-coordinator. And what position would this mystery coordinator coach? This just seems to involve too many moving parts.
If I had to bet, the play here will look something like:
- Mike stays on as co-coordinator, moving over to coach linebackers;
- Current linebackers coach Tim Kish leaves the coaching staff; and
- OU adds another linebackers coach to replace Kish.
(Note: I think it will take a miracle on signing day for Kish to stay on.)
In theory, that scenario frees up Mike to do more in terms of scheming and putting together game plans.
As for Cooks, a couple quick thoughts:
*From a recruiting standpoint, he definitely fits the bill. Even though Cooks has snagged prospects from all across the country, he has especially deep ties in Texas. I imagine that was his biggest selling point, as the Sooners could stand a serious talent infusion.
*Development? Three of his cornerback pupils at ND were drafted.
*ND ran a 3-4 base D under Bob Diaco from 2010-13, so Cooks is well-versed in what OU is doing now.
*For the most part, Cooks was part of a staff at ND that put together some really solid units. The Irish finished in the top 20 in Defensive F/+ from 2010-12.
I don't know if Cooks would qualify as a home run hire, but OU fans certainly shouldn't complain if he's the next secondary coach.