USF hires Bucs' Cooper to coach secondary
USF coach Willie Taggart has made a second key addition to his defensive staff in the last three days, announcing Friday morning that Ron Cooper, a veteran college coach who worked with the Bucs defensive backs this past season, has been hired as the Bulls' secondary coach and assistant head coach.
"Ron Cooper is a valuable addition to our staff," Taggart said in a statement. "His experience will be a huge asset in his role as assistant head coach. In addition, he has recently worked with some of the top secondaries and defensive backs in college football, which will serve us greatly both on the field and in recruiting."
Cooper, 50, has a resume that includes a stint at Louisville's head coach, and most recently, working as defensive backs coach at LSU from 2009-11. Cooper was the position coach for two winners of the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back, in Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne, as well as All-American standout Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu.
In addition to nine years and a 45-55 record as a college head coach, Cooper has worked at major programs like South Carolina, Mississippi State, Wisconsin. Cooper is a friend and former colleague of former Bulls coach Skip Holtz -- the two coached together at Notre Dame in 1991-92. Cooper's son, Tristan, played football at Plant High and is being recruited by I-A programs, with visits planned to Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State.
Cooper's hire gives Taggart six full-time assistants, joining defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, who was hired Wednesday night. Cooper comes on board as the Bulls host a key recruiting weekend as Taggart works toward completing his first recruiting class.