Kris Kocurek enters his sixth season as defensive line coach after joining the Lions as Detroit’s assistant defensive line coach in 2009. He had spent the previous season coaching defensive line at Stephen F. Austin State.
LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS: Kocurek further established himself as a molder of young talent along the defensive line as the 2013 Lions front featured promising seasons from rookie DEs Ezekiel Ansah and Devin Taylor. Coupled with the presence of veteran DTs Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, the Lions defensive line accounted for 25.5 of the team’s 33 sacks in 2013 and recorded seven forced fumbles and two safeties. Suh earned his third Pro Bowl bid in four years and Fairley was named a Pro Bowl alternate.
In 2007, Kocurek served as the assistant head coach and defensive line coach at West Texas A&M where he helped coach the Buffaloes to the 2007 Lone Star Conference title as well as the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Buffaloes became one of the top defensive units in the LSC and led the conference in scoring defense.
Under Kocurek’s guidance, Brandon Swain became one of the top defensive players at the Division II level and was a 2007 First-Team Daktronics, AFCA and AP Little All-American and conference defensive lineman of the year after recording 24.5 tackles for losses and 14 sacks.
Kocurek served as the defensive line coach at Texas A&M-Commerce in 2006 and helped guide the Lions’ top-ranked defensive unit, which finished No. 1 in total and scoring defense.
For two seasons (2004-05) Kocurek served as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M-Kingsville and coached the Javelinas’ defensive line where he was active in the development of Wilbert Martin, who was twice selected as First Team All-LSC and was a free agent signee of the Baltimore Ravens.
Kocurek began his coaching career in 2003 as a student assistant at Texas Tech. While in Lubbock, he assisted with the defensive linemen and helped coach the Red Raiders to a 2003 Houston Bowl win over Navy.
Prior to coaching, Kocurek spent two years in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans (2002) and the Seattle Seahawks (2001) after being selected in the seventh round (237th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by Seattle.
Kocurek was born November 15, 1978. He played collegiate football at Texas Tech and was a three-time All-Big 12 selection. As a senior, he was selected as team captain and named defensive player of the year.
Detroit Lions 2009-present
Stephen F. Austin State University 2008
West Texas A&M 2007
Texas A&M Commerce 2006
Texas A&M Kingsville 2004-05
Texas Tech 2003
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is joining with the city of Detroit and S.A.Y. Detroit to revive an abandoned recreation center in Northeast Detroit. Tori Petry reports on the story.