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Assistant Coaching Profile: Craig Kuligowski, Defensive Line Coach at Miami

As the news starts to break out of Coral Gables of who will be on Mark Richt’s new coaching staff, we at State of the U will bring you breakdowns of who they are, where they’re from and their specialties as a position coach. Keep checking in for more information as it comes!

Missouri's defensive line got after the quarterback to a tune of an SEC leading 44 sacks in 2014.
Missouri's defensive line got after the quarterback to a tune of an SEC leading 44 sacks in 2014.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching Career

Coach "Kool" as many call him initially was a two time All MAC offensive tackle for Toledo from 1987-90. After his playing days were over he latched on to the program as a coach starting in 1992 as a recruiting coordinator. In '93 he was promoted to a position coach on the same staff (tight ends and offensive line) by then Head Coach Gary Pinkel. In 1996, Coach Kool moved from the offensive line and tight ends to teach the defensive line. In '01 when Coach Pinkel left for the vacant Missouri Head Coaching position, Coach Kool tagged along with him and ever since then he's churned out both All Americans as well as high round NFL talent along the defensive line.

As my colleague Cam Underwood noted yesterday in the Live Update, Coach Kool is arguably one of the best defensive line coaches in college football. Since '01 alone, Coach Kool has churned out 13  drafted defensive linemen, five of which were drafted in the first round. Besides sculpting his players to be professionals, his defensive lines have been known for their tenacity to get after the quarterback as well. Most recently, in 2013 and 2014 they led the defensively proficient SEC in sacks at 40 and 44 respectively and put together another tremendous season this year as well.

Hiring Critique

As Cam excitedly noted yesterday and also most of the college football universe per this hire: this a home run signing. Coach Kool has consistently put together defensive fronts that have stuffed the run, gotten after the quarterback and made it to the pro's due to their stand out performances on game days. You really can't ask for a much better position coach than Coach Kool for the Miami defensive front looking ahead in 2016.