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January 11, 2013 @ 10:05 am
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Bucs' Cooper Hired To Coach USF Secondary

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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The Buccaneers secondary, coached by Ron Cooper, was the worst in the NFL last season and now the former LSU assistant is moving across town to join Wille Taggart's staff at USF. At this time it is unclear if Cooper was let go by head coach Greg Schiano or asked to be released from his contract. Regardless, Schiano now has three holes to fill on his coaching staff.
And Ron Cooper makes three.

According to the USF Bulls’ official website, head coach Willie Taggart has added former Buccaneers secondary coach Ron Cooper to the same position at USF.

Taggart commented on the hiring of Cooper.

"Ron Cooper is a valuable addition to our staff," said Taggart. "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 joins wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck (head coach Western Michigan) and quarterbacks coach Ron Turner (head coach at FIU) as coaches who have left the Buccaneers over the last month.

There has been some speculation that Cooper would be let go by Bucs head coach Greg Schiano, although it isn’t clear if Cooper was fired or asked to be released from his contract.

The Buccaneers failed to comment.

Tampa Bay’s secondary was the NFL’s worst in 2012 and came within 12 yards of surrendering the most passing yards in the entire history of the league.

Cooper was highly touted after joining Schiano’s staff last February. Cooper came to Tampa after spending the previous three seasons (2009-11) as LSU's secondary coach. Cooper coached some of the top secondaries in the country during his tenure at LSU including national award winners in CB Morris Claiborne, CB Patrick Peterson and CB Tyrann Mathieu. Cooper coached two Thorpe Award winners, Peterson in 2010 and Claiborne in 2011, which is given to the top defensive back in college football, and two Bednarik Award winners.

But despite his success in the college ranks, the results didn’t follow Cooper to the NFL, and Tampa Bay’s secondary, beset with injuries, suspensions and inexperience, performed poorly this past season.

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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Cooper will be a great plus for the bulls coaching staff. I see that young QB from My High School HB Plant is also at USF GO BULLS-When I grew up tampa plant was always getting beat up except when Bruce Wesley TE and QB Vernon Korn was running Plant Offensive- GO Team GO
  • avatar


    Perhaps Mike Florio's source that the Buc's coaches "should go back to college" was more prophetic than we thought. Maybe it was Schiano himself who whispered it to Pro Football Talk.
  • avatar


    I hope the best to him and a successful career at USF; they need all the help they can get.
  • avatar

    That's a long fall from grace....LSU secondary coach to Bucs secondary coach to USF secondary coach....sort of like going from fishing boat captain to cruise liner captain to captain of a dingy.....
  • avatar


    Good riddance.
  • avatar


    I wonder if the Bucs are miffed at Cooper for talking them out of drafting Claiborne
  • avatar


    roger4680, I'll take the bait. Really? You telling me you would rather have Claiborne than Barron? Mayock called Barron the best non-quarterback player in last year's draft. I would rather have Barron since he was the only good safety in last year's draft. Barron made ESPN all rookie team. Whereas, Claiborne did not. It's not always greener on the other side of the tracks.
  • avatar


    I'll take Barron for the long-haul over Mo. Easy choice. And I'd take Barron over Kuechly too. He'll be a great player for us, I have no doubt.
  • avatar


    Just curious, Is there any truth that Cooper was not allowed to run his own secondary drills and had to implement Schiano's drills for the defensive backs
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