University of Hawai’i head football coach Nick Rolovich has retained special teams coach Jake Cookus, the third returning member from last year’s coaching staff whom Rolovich has hired for his inaugural staff.
Cookus joins offensive line coach Chris Naeole and defensive backs coach Abe Elimimian as Rolovich’s initial hires.
“I’m happy to have Jake on board and I appreciated his work on special teams last year and also his efforts to keep the kids going through a different time at the end of last season,” Rolovich said. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know him and I’m confident he will only make our special teams better.”
Under Cookus’ leadership, UH ranked third in the Mountain West in net punting (41.5 avg.) while punter Rigoberto Sanchez was second with a 45.1 average. Sanchez also doubled as the team’s placekicker and converted 8-of-11 field goal attempts and 64 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. In addition, as a team, UH averaged 21.3 yards per kickoff return and 7.7 yards per punt return.
Prior to joining the UH staff for the 2015 season, Cookus spent two seasons at Montana as the co-special teams coordinator and safeties coach; and seven seasons at Weber State, where he also split time as co-defensive coordinator during his final three years with the Wildcats. His other previous stops included Kentucky as a graduate assistant and Southern Oregon as linebackers coach.
A native of Roseburg, Ore., Cookus played for Oregon State and was a team captain and honorable mention all-Pac-10 as a senior in 2001. He graduated from OSU in 2002 with a degree in business finance and a minor in athletic administration.