It appears that Brian Kelly will be filling a hole on his coaching staff after Signing Day. Multiple reports, from both Norman and South Bend, have Irish secondary coach Kerry Cooks leaving Notre Dame to join Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma.
Reports point to Cooks making a parallel move, with Stoops looking to fill a hole at secondary coach. We have yet to hear if Cooks will get an added title bump, like co-defensive coordinator or assistant head coach. Cooks held a co-defensive coordinator title in South Bend for one season, before Brian VanGorder replaced Bob Diaco and took over the defense, relegating Cooks back to secondary coach. Some believe this move has been inevitable since Cooks was passed up for the coordinator job.
The move to Oklahoma makes sense for Cooks. A Texas native, he’ll be able to recruit the state incredibly well, with in-roads he’s made in Louisiana and across the Southeast also likely paying dividends for the Sooners. He’ll also be tasked with fixing a secondary that’s woefully underperformed, an achilles heel for an Oklahoma team that had lofty aspirations heading into 2014, but finished an astoundingly horrible 120th against the pass.
While the move isn’t likely to be finalized until after Signing Day, multiple reports had the Irish reaching out to recruits, with Kelly personally discussing the move with them. It appears the change won’t flip any recruits.
There is no timeline for finding Cooks replacement, though spring practice begins on March 2nd.