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Coaching Profile: Defensive Line Coach Craig Kuligowski

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Coaching Profile: Defensive Line Coach Craig Kuligowski

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Defensive Line Coach Craig Kuligowski

Kuligowski played offensive line for the University of Toledo and graduated in 1991. During his time on campus he was a four year starter and was a two year all-conference player. Right after his playing career ended he immediately got into coaching as a recruiting coordinator from where he just graduated from, Toledo. His stomping grounds was the state of Texas.

He held the position for one season and then was promoted to a position coach as the overseer of the offensive line and tight ends from ’93 to ’95. After his brief foray on the offensive side of the field his head coach at the time, Gary Pinkel decided he should ply his trade on the defensive side of the ball as a line coach. From ’96 until now Kool has been a defensive line coach and a darn good one. When Pinkel left Toledo in 2001 for a step up to Missouri he brought Kool along with him and Kool’s reputation exploded from there.

Working in the Big 12 on the defensive side of the ball is a tall order due to the high powered aerial attacks exhibited year in and year. Kool took to the challenge and not only churned out top statistical units (sacks, tackles for loss, etc.) and all-Americans but also top NFL talent. His list of star pupils is long and illustrious with the likes of Michael Sam, Kony Ealy and Aldon/Justin Smith.

After last season Pinkel decided to retire and ride off into the Missouri sunset. The Tigers decided to promote from within and tabbed the Defensive Coordinator, Barry Odom as Pinkel’s successor. Did the decision rankle Coach Kool that he was looked over for the position? Rumors swirled that Missouri would be converting to a 34 defense under Odom heading into the 2016 season as well. Many factors could have played into why Kool left Columbia but when Mark Richt came calling at the end of last season he listened and liked what he heard enough to take his trade to Coral Gables.

For Richt to pull Coach Kool onto his staff was a huge coup. In the coaching circles of the pro’s and college ranks he’s viewed as a top teacher of men. At Missouri he often times recruited Texas three star talent and turned them into high impact players. Thinking about the prospect of Kool bringing in top local south Florida talent and then honing their skills… Makes a Cane fan get excited.

What are your thoughts on Kool? Leave them below!