Thursday, March 1, 2012
Shaw completes staff with Kotulski
By Kevin Gemmell
Stanford head coach David Shaw rounded out his staff by naming David Kotulski his new inside linebackers coach.
Kotulski spent the past six seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Lehigh University of the Patriot League. He replaces Jason Tarver, who left last month to be the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.
"David Kotulski is a veteran in 3-4 defense and has a very positive history with both [defensive coordinator] Derek Mason and [OLB coach] Lance Anderson,” Shaw said in a statement. "He has demonstrated through the years that he is an outstanding teacher, great motivator and a very good recruiter -- especially in the Northeast. Our entire staff will benefit from his experience and expertise."
During his 31-year career, Kotulski has worked at Holy Cross, Utah State, Bucknell, Saint Mary's and Utah. It was at Bucknell that he crossed paths with Mason and Anderson, and again with Anderson at Utah State. He started his career in 1978 at Utah.
Kotulski, 59, isn't a big name on the West Coast, and he doesn't have the NFL coaching pedigree that Tarver had -- which included 10 years with the San Francisco 49ers. But he seems to know the 3-4 scheme and how to create pressure, and that's what Stanford's defense is all about. Last year, Lehigh's defense ranked in the top three in six defensive categories, including first in pass efficiency defense, sacks and third-down defense.
As noted earlier in the week, the Cardinal have two budding stars at inside linebackers in Jarek Lancaster and A.J. Tarpley -- who flourished under Tarver's tutelage. Both have shown good ball instincts and Lancaster's open-field tackling was spectacular toward the end of the season. The Cardinal also hope to have Shayne Skov back and healthy after a season-ending knee injury last year. He still has to serve some sort of punishment -- likely a suspension -- stemming from his DUI arrest last month and his rehab will keep him from participating in spring drills. But if he's back at 100 percent, he'll be one of the top inside linebackers in the country.
Worth noting also in Shaw's released statement is the recruiting factor. Stanford is one of the few true national recruiters and having a known presence in the Northeast can't hurt.
You can see the full release with Kotulski's complete bio here.