According to a league source, University of Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove is a strong consideration of the Minnesota Vikings in their search for a new defensive coordinator. Cosgrove was rumored to be among the potential candidates, but the source confirmed him as a possibility and expected he would be offered the position.
The Vikings could be waiting until after next week's National Signing Day, when college teams officially sign their high school recruits, before making a public pitch on Cosgrove so Nebraska's recruiting efforts aren't affected.
With all of their position coaches still under contract, the defensive coordinator position could be the only remaining change in the coaching staff this offseason. Former coordinator Mike Tomlin left to become the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 18. The Vikings already fired wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt and replaced him with George Stewart.
Cosgrove's coaching resume led to his name being rumored about in the University of Minnesota's search for a head coach, but the Gophers went with former Denver Broncos tight ends coach Tim Brewster. In the small world of coaching circles, Brewster, Cosgrove and Vikings head coach Brad Childress have similar paths.
Cosgrove played at Illinois Benedictine College and Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the mid and late 1970s, and then coached at the University of Illinois as a graduate assistant from 1980-82 and as assistant coach/linebackers from 1983-87 before becoming the defensive coordinator at Southeast Missouri State in 1988.
During his time at Illinois, he overlapped with Childress, who coached there from 1978-84.
But that wouldn't be the only time that Cosgrove's coaching coincided with Childress's. They were both at the University of Wisconsin in the 1990s – Childress from 1991-98 coaching running backs, quarterbacks and as the offensive coordinator and Cosgrove from 1995-2003 as the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator.
In 2004, Cosgrove became the defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach of Nebraska, where he is currently the coordinator and linebackers coach.
Being a Midwest guy, Cosgrove's recruiting emphasis with the Cornhuskers includes Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Philadelphia (all locales where Childress made his mark). All totaled, Cosgrove has more than two decades of experience coaching in the Big Ten between his time at Illinois and Wisconsin, helping the Badgers to three Rose Bowl wins.
Cosgrove is credited with recruiting four NFL first-round selections
In Cogrove's second year as the Huskers coordinator, their defense became the second-ranked unit in the nation and led the NCAA in sacks (50) and tackles-for-loss (10.33 per game).
The Vikings could also be considering Super Bowl assistants like Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Leslie Frazier.
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