WR Coach Drake Accepts Position With Chicago Bears

AUSTIN, Texas -University of Texas associate head coach and wide receivers coach Darryl Drake has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Chicago Bears, the National Football League club announced Friday. Drake, who played in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals, will work with the Bears wide receivers. He spent six seasons coaching the Longhorns wide receivers and added the duties of associate head coach in 2003.

"This was a business decision on my part and an opportunity that I just couldn't pass up," Drake said. "Texas has been great to me. It's been a great six years. I can't put into words what Mack and Sally have meant to me and my family. They've been wonderful. I love all of the players I've worked with, DeLoss (Dodds) and everyone I've dealt with at UT has been first class. It's a great group of people and a place I will really miss.

"But, there comes a time in a man's life when he has to make choices and this was just a sound business decision for me at this time. I have couple years left before I'm eligible for NFL retirement, the Bears offered me a three-year contract with an unbelievable financial package and Lovie (Smith) is a great friend that I'm looking forward to working with.

"When I talked with the Bears this week, I had no intention of making any moves, but once they told me what they were offering, it became evident that it was something that I needed to seriously evaluate for me, my family and my future. Once I took a hard look at everything, I realized it was something that professionally I couldn't pass up."

In a short span of just six seasons at Texas, Drake guided three different wide receivers to first-team All-Big 12 honors and tutored three of the most productive receiving duos in UT history. Drake also coached the only 1,000-yard receivers on Longhorn record. Under his guidance, Roy Williams finished his UT career in 2003 as the Longhorns' all-time leader in receptions (241), receiving yards (3,866), TD receptions (36) and 100-yard receiving games (16). Williams, a three-time first-team All-Big 12 pick, posted three of the top four reception seasons, two of the top three receiving yardage seasons and two of the top three TD reception seasons on UT record. Under his tutelage B.J. Johnson (152-2,389-16) and Sloan Thomas (88-1,362-12) both finished their careers ranked among the Longhorn all-time receiving top 10. Drake also guided Kwame Cavil to UT records for receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,188) in 1999 and Wane McGarity to 1,142 receiving yards (No. 2 on the UT all-time season list) in 1998.

Texas posted a school-record six straight nine-win seasons, including Longhorn record-tying 11-victory campaigns in 2001 and '02, during Drake's tenure in Austin. The Longhorns earned six straight bowl berths and finished each of those six seasons ranked among the nation's final Top 25.

"Darryl is a great coach and even more important, he and his family have become really good friends to Sally and me," Longhorn Head Coach Mack Brown said. "Obviously he's done a terrific job for our program and we can't thank him enough for that. Darryl has developed some of the most productive receivers in Texas history and been a valuable asset in a number of areas for us over the past six years. On one hand, we hate to see him go and will sorely miss him. But, on the other hand, this was a great opportunity for him and his family and one he just felt he should take."

Drake, who has coached at the collegiate level for 21 years, joined the Longhorn staff after serving as offensive coordinator/QBs coach at Baylor in 1997. Prior to Baylor, Drake tutored wide receivers at Georgia from 1992-96 and coached the leading receiver in the SEC in each of his first three seasons.

Drake began his coaching career at Western Kentucky as an assistant coach and spent nine seasons with the Hilltoppers from 1983-91. He had previously starred as a wide receiver for WKU in 1975 and during the 1977 and '78 seasons. He helped the Hilltoppers to an 8-2 record and the Ohio Valley Conference Championship as a senior and was a member of their 11-2 OVC Championship squad that played in the NCAA Division II Championship game in 1975.

Following his collegiate career, Drake spent time in professional football with the Washington Redskins (1979), Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (1981) and Cincinnati Bengals (1983).

The Louisville, Ky., native earned his bachelor's (1980) and master's (1984) degrees from Western Kentucky. Drake was an all-state performer in football and an All-American in both track & field and basketball at Flaget High School in Louisville. He and his wife, Sheila, have three daughters, Shanice, Felisha and Marian.

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