Drake
Drake

Colorado's football coaching staff is now complete.

On Wednesday, CU officially announced the hiring of defensive line coach Kwahn Drake, finalizing the 10-member assistant coaching staff.

Drake, 32, was the defensive line coach at Eastern Illinois, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team, this past season.

"Kwahn is a dynamic young coach that came highly recommended by many different individuals from both the NFL and college," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said in a press release. "I'm really excited about Kwahn's ability to teach and coach, and the energy he is going to bring to the table for us. I know our defensive linemen are going to be really excited about having Kwahn coach them, and I too am excited about having Kwahn join our staff."

Drake replaces Jim Jeffcoat, who was not retained after five seasons in Boulder. Jeffcoat coached defensive line for MacIntyre's teams the past seven years, including two seasons at San Jose State and five at CU.

With Drake now on board, MacIntyre has completely overhauled his defensive coaching staff in the past 12 months. Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, linebackers coach Ross Els and secondary coach ShaDon Brown were hired last year, while cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose was hired last week.

"I'm totally excited to be a Colorado Buffalo," said Drake, a native of New Orleans. "I want to thank coach MacIntyre and coach D.J. Eliot for this opportunity to be a part of this great organization and a chance to bring what I feel is my expertise to the program."


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Just last month, EIU head coach Kim Dameron had promoted Drake to co-defensive coordinator because of the job he did with the Panthers.

"One of the reasons we were as good as we were defensively was because of how his kids played," Dameron told the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. "I felt good about our defense last year and Kwahn takes ownership like the other coaches do and I thought this was warranted."

Prior to EIU, Drake was an offensive analyst at Memphis in 2016, and was at Tulane for four seasons. He was a defensive graduate assistant for two years before coaching the Green Wave defensive line in 2014-15.

A 2009 graduate of Nicholls State, Drake coached defensive line at the high school level before going to Tulane.

At CU, Drake will have a mix of veterans and youth to work with as the Buffs aim for improvement in an area that was a weak spot during the 2017 season. CU ranked 108th nationally in allowing 208.0 yards per game on the ground, and 110th in yielding 5.23 yards per rush.

The Buffs lose their most consistent defensive lineman (Leo Jackson III) to graduation, but they do return two starters in seniors Javier Edwards and Chris Mulumba. Both were first-year Buffs in 2017 after transferring from junior colleges.

CU also returns senior Jase Franke and junior Lyle Tuiloma, who were regular contributors. Highly regarded freshman Terrance Lang is also back after redshirting this past season.

In addition, the Buffs have signed three defensive linemen in their 2018 recruiting class: Israel Antwine from Millwood (Okla.) High School, Tava Finau from Luther Burbank (Calif.) High School and Mustafa Johnson from Modesto (Calif.) Junior College.

Drake is the third new addition to the coaching staff this past offseason.

Quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper replaced co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren, who left CU for a similar position at Oregon State. Ambrose was hired as an additional assistant. This is the first year that Football Bowl Subdivision teams are allowed to have 10 assistants.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.