CMU Names Two New Football Assistants

MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan University head football coach Brian Kelly announced the hiring of two new assistant coaches, Robert Diaco and Kerry Cooks.

Diaco joins the Chippewa staff as a co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach while Cooks will be the new safeties coach.

These moves were prompted when two members of the 2004 staff left for other schools -- defensive coordinator John Jancek to Georgia and running backs coach Butch Jones to West Virginia.

Defensive line coach Mike Elston will join Diaco as the co-defensive coordinator while Greg Forest will move from wide receivers to running backs coach and Joe Danna from safeties to wide receivers mentor.

Diaco has a wealth of coaching experience in the state of Michigan, spending the 2004 season at Western Michigan where he was the special teams and linebackers coach. The Broncos finished in the top three in the Mid-American Conference in punting, punt returns and kickoff returns.

Robert also was on the staff at Eastern Michigan from 2001-03, moving from running backs to linebackers to the secondary.

Twice an All-Big Ten selection at the University of Iowa, Diaco was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award (America's top linebacker) in 1995. The `95 Iowa grad led the Big Ten in tackles in both 1994 and `95, playing for Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry, and finished his career as the seventh-leading tackler in Hawkeye history.

Diaco served as a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1996 and `97, helping the Hawkeyes to the Alamo and Sun Bowls. His first full-time position was at Western Illinois where he was the running backs and special teams coordinator in 1999 and 2000. The Leathernecks won the Gateway Conference crown in 2000.

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Robert and his wife, Julia, have three children -- Angelo (seven), Josephine (five) and Michael (five months).

Cooks comes to Central Michigan from Western Illinois where he spent the 2004 season as the secondary coach. He also oversaw the defensive special teams.

A 2000 graduate of the University of Iowa, Kerry was a fifth-round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998. He retired from the NFL following the 2001 season after playing with Green Bay, Atlanta and Jacksonville.

He was the defensive MVP, defensive team captain and an all-Big Ten safety while playing for the Hawkeyes.

A native of Irving, Texas, Kerry began his coaching career at his alma mater, Nimitz High, as the secondary coach in 2003. He then served as a graduate assistant at Kansas State in 2003 when the Wildcats won the Big 12 title.

Cooks, who did an internship in the secondary with the St. Louis Rams in the summer of 2004, is married and his wife's name is Valencia.

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