Cogdell Named USF Defensive Ends Coach
Former West Virginia linebacker and assistant coach has been a highly successful high school coach in Florida
TAMPA, FEB. 16, 2017 – University of South Florida head football coach Charlie Strong today announced the addition of Miami native Damon Cogdell as the Bulls’ defensive ends coach.
A highly successful high school coach in the state of Florida and former assistant coach at West Virginia University, Cogdell most recently served as associate head coach and defensive coordinator for 2016 Florida Class 6A State Champion Carol City High School.
“We are excited to welcome Damon to our USF staff,” Strong said. “He has a long history of coaching success in the state of Florida and has produced some of the best high school defenses in the state. He is a former collegiate linebacker and coach with strong ties in the state and experience developing and mentoring student-athletes.”
In his one season guiding the Carol City defense, Cogdell produced a unit that led South Florida giving up just 105 yards and 9.2 points per game while playing a schedule that featured 10 of 12 opponents that reached the state playoffs. The Chiefs posted a 14-6 victory over Lake Gibson in the 2016 Class 6A state title game, in which Lake Gibson posted just 89 yards.
Prior to returning to Florida to coach at Carol City, Cogdell spent two seasons as an assistant coach at West Virginia (2014-15). He coached the defensive line for the Mountaineers and helped Shaq Riddick earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors in 2014. Riddick was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Cogdell coached in the Liberty Bowl (2014) and Cactus Bowl (2015) while at WVU.
Cogdell coached at Miramar High School in Miami, Fla., from 2002 to 2013, serving as head coach and defensive coordinator since 2007 and defensive coordinator throughout his stint. He also served as the school’s athletic director.
Cogdell compiled an impressive 72-19 record as a head coach and led Miramar to the 2009 Class 8A state championship and a 2011 runner-up finish. He was selected the 2009 High School Coach of the Year by Nike, the Black Coaches Association of America, The Miami Herald and the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. Cogdell was the first runner-up for National High School Coach of the Year by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2012. Miramar’s 2009 defense gave up just 122 yards per game, while the 2011 team gave up just 143.
Cogdell’s teams advanced to at least the second round of the state high school playoffs every season. He coached more than 50 players that went on to play collegiate football, including West Virginia standouts Geno Smith, an All-Big 12 quarterback drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets, and wide receiver Stedman Bailey, a first-team All-American selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.
In his second year as head coach in 2008, Miramar went 11-3 and advanced to the regional finals while ranking as high as No. 10 in the state. He led the top defense in the state in 2009 and became the first coach in Broward County to win a state championship. His 2013 squad went 12-1 and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs, finishing ranked No. 13 in the state.
Cogdell coached numerous all-star games, including serving as head coach of the Private vs. Public Schools All-Star Game in 2010, and saw his defenses rank No. 1 in Broward County three times between 2002-06.
From 2000 to 2002, Cogdell coached linebackers and running backs at Centennial High School in Alpharetta, Ga., where he earned 2002 Assistant Coach of the Year honors from the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association and helped Centennial to the state playoffs both seasons.
Cogdell was a standout linebacker at West Virginia, lettering in 1997 and 1998. He posted 66 tackles as a senior and finished his career with 107. He earned his bachelor’s degree from WVU in 1999.
He went on to start at linebacker for the British Columbia Lions of the CFL (2000 & 2001) and was part of the Lions’ 2000 Gray Cup Championship.
Cogdell and his wife, LeAndra, have two daughters, Destanie and Amaya, and a son, Damon, Jr.
Season ticket deposits for the 2017 season start at $50 per seat and can be placed at USFBullsTix.com. The Bulls will play seven home games in Raymond James Stadium in 2017, hosting notable games vs. Illinois, Houston, Temple, Tulsa and Cincinnati.
USF finished the 2016 season with a school record 11 wins following the program’s fifth-ever bowl victory in the Birmingham Bowl. The Bulls’ 11-2 record marked the fifth-best winning percentage in FBS football in 2016 and one of just 11 teams to reach 11 wins. USF set nearly 40 team and individual records in 2016, including team records for total yards (6,650), rushing yards (3,714), touchdowns (77) and scoring (569). Junior quarterback Quinton Flowers was named the American Conference Offensive Player of the Year and led a school-record 10 players named to the all-conference team, six of which, including Flowers, will return in 2017.
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