Chris Cosh takes on the role of defensive coordinator for Carolina in 2003, and the Gamecock defense promises to take on an aggressive and attacking look. For the past four seasons, Cosh has coached the Gamecock linebackers, a group which has played a vital role in the overall success of the Gamecock team. One of Coach Cosh’s pupils, senior Jeremiah Garrison, was chosen as a team captain for the 2003 season. In 2001, Kalimba Edwards was a semi-finalist for both the Butkus and Rotary Lombardi Awards and for the second year in a row, was a consensus first-team All-SEC selection. Coach Cosh also did a superb job in blending in new talent like Garrison and Jermaine Lemon with veterans Edwards and Kenny Harney. Edwards was a second-round draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 2002 and Harney signed a free agent contract with Green Bay.
Chris Cosh’s linebacker corps was key in the resurgence of the Carolina defense in 2000. With Kalimba Edwards, Andre Offing, Shannon Wadley and Kenny Harney leading the way, USC’s linebackers played as well as any unit in the SEC. Edwards was a consensus All-SEC selection and third-team All-America pick while Offing was named one of the team’s captain and was signed by the Detroit Lions.
In 1999, Cosh coached Carolina’s John Abraham, who earned All-SEC honors and went on to be the No. 1 pick of the New Your Jets. Abraham has been a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons. Another Cosh pupil at USC, Corey Atkins, was USC’s leading tackler in 1999 and played one season with the Atlanta Falcons.
Cosh came to USC after a one-year stint as the defensive coordinator at Michigan State. In 1998, the Spartans upset then No. 1-ranked Ohio State and also knocked off national powerhouse Notre Dame. Michigan State ranked 10th nationally in pass defense that season.
Cosh coached linebackers at Maryland in 1997 and also served as the Terrapins’ recruiting coordinator that season. In 1997 two of his linebackers, Eric Barton and Kendal Ogle, were the No. 2 and No. 3 tacklers in the ACC. From 1992-1996, he coached linebackers at Illinois where two linebackers, Dana Howard (1994) and Kevin Hardy (1995) won back to back Butkus Awards. Cosh also coached consensus All-America Simeon Rice, who was a defensive standout for the 2003 Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 43-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 and assistant head coach in 1995. During his tenure as inside linebackers coach, Cosh tutored Howard, who ended his career in 1994 as the Big Ten Player of the Year with the most tackles ever in Big Ten history. The Illini defense was nationally ranked three straight years during Cosh’s tenure: 14th in 1993, 9th in 1994 and 21st in 1995.
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).
A native of Washington, D.C., Cosh played linebacker and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Virginia Tech in 1984. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons: James Joseph (14) and Billy (10).
The Cosh File
Born: May 12, 1959
High School Education: Bishop McNamara (MD) HS
College Education: Virginia Tech, 1984
College Football: Virginia Tech (linebacker, 1977-81)
College Coaching Career: Assistant Coach, South Carolina (1999-present); Assistant Coach, Michigan State (1998); Assistant Coach, Maryland (1997); Assistant Coach, Illinois (1992-96); Assistant Coach, Minnesota (1991); Assistant Coach, Nevada-Las Vegas (1990); Assistant Coach, Southeast Missouri State (1989); Assistant Coach, Wisconsin-Oshkosh (1985-88); Assistant Coach, Minnesota (1984); Student Assistant Coach, Virginia Tech (1983)
College Bowl Experience: 2002 Outback Bowl, 2001 Outback Bowl, 1995 Liberty Bowl, 1992 Holiday Bowl, 1983 Peach Bowl
Children: James Joseph (14), Billy (10)