Willie Taggart made an impressive addition to his coaching staff earlier today with the hiring of Ron Cooper as assistant head coach. Cooper, who has a long history of coaching college defenses, will also take on the challenge of improving USF's beleaguered secondary.
This is a really good hire. Some USF fans would have been happy with getting Cooper as a defensive coordinator, and just having someone on staff with his recent success at USF's weakest position is going to do a lot of good. Cooper was the secondary coach at LSU from 2009-2011, where Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, and Tyrann Mathieu combined for two Thorpe Awards (for the best defensive back in the country) and two Bednarik Awards (for the best defensive player in the country) in 2010 and 2011. LSU had undoubtedly the best secondary in the country on Cooper's watch.
Cooper spent last season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' secondary coach. The Bucs gave up a near-record number of passing yards in 2012, but I'm inclined to give Cooper a break on that one. His unit was clobbered with injuries and suspensions, and didn't get much help from the pass rush up front. Week after week, the Bucs were forced to find free agents and immediately put them into the lineup. Honestly, his LSU secondary was probably more talented than the one he ended up with by the end of the Bucs' season.
Another good thing about the hire is that it balances out Chuck Bresnahan's inexperience in college football. Cooper has almost a decade of not just college experience, but SEC coaching experience, which is hands down the best defensive conference in college football. He'll have a lot of cachet on the recruiting trail.
There's really nothing not to like about this move, you guys. It's one of the best assistant hires I can remember USF making, probably the best since Dan McCarney. What do you all think about it?