INDIANAPOLIS – University of Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks was selected to attend the 2011 NCAA Champion Forum June 16-17 in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention.
The Champion Forum features a select group of football coaches who have been identified as potential candidates for head football coaching positions at NCAA colleges or universities. The coaches, who were selected by athletics administrators, are generally ethnic minorities who have completed the NCAA Expert program.
The NCAA invited football coaches, athletics directors and several speakers from the membership and the NFL to its Champion Forum, the top tier of the NCAA's coaching academy programs.
During the Forum, the coaches, athletics directors and speakers will have time to develop professional relationships in a more informal, private setting. There will be simulated interview sessions, media training, keynote speakers. There will also be opportunities to discuss key topics such as understanding and developing culture within their team and the athletics department and effectively engaging with the campus and academic staff after becoming a head football coach.
Through the Forum, the football coaches will have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the search process and the steps taken by search firms and athletics directors when preparing to hire head football coaches to lead intercollegiate programs. In turn, the athletics directors and administrators will have opportunities to meet, interact and become better acquainted with the football coaches; become "champions" by assisting with the coaches' continued career growth; and broaden their outlook on potential minority head coaching prospects within the NCAA.
Cooks, a former all-Big Ten Conference safety and NFL veteran, is entering his ninth season as a college football coach and second year at Notre Dame. In 2011, Cooks will coach the Irish cornerbacks after working with the outside linebackers in 2010.
Notre Dame's outside linebackers combined for 12 sacks and 20 tackles for loss last season. Darius Fleming tallied career highs of six sacks and 49 tackles and he led the Irish in sacks and tackles for loss (11).
In addition to the Champion Forum, the NCAA Leadership group also administers the Future Coaches Academy for student-athletes who want to learn more about the football coaching field; the NFL-NCAA Football CoachesAcademy for position coaches; and the Expert Forum for coordinators and assistant/associate head coaches. The NCAA created its Coaching Academies in 2004.
The following coaches were selected for the Champion Forum:
- Michael Barrow, University of Miami, linebackers coach
- Kerry Cooks, University of Notre Dame, cornerbacks coach
- Lawrence Dawsey, Florida State University, wide receivers coach
- Gary Emmanuel, Purdue University, co-defensive coordinator
- William Inge, University of Buffalo, defensive coordinator/linebackers
- Brian Stewart, University of Houston, defensive coordinator
- Joel Thomas, University of Washington, running backs coach
The following athletics directors and executive administrators have been selected for the Champion Forum:
- Craig Littlepage, University of Virginia
- Rick Dickson, Tulane University
- Lisa Love, Arizona State University
- Dan Guerrero, University of California, Los Angeles
- Jon Oliver, University of Virginia
- Chris Del Conte, Texas Christian University
- Joel Maturi, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities