Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 59, the number once worn by WVU linebacker, Damon Cogdell.
Cogdell originally hails from Miami, FL. He played two seasons for the Mountaineers (1997-98), while redshirting his first year in Morgantown (1996). Cogdell was a force on the Mountaineer defense as he recorded 107 career tackles, along with 3 sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception while playing under the legendary Don Nehlen.
In 1997, the team finished with a record of 7-4 in the regular season, and earned a bid to the Carquest Bowl. The Mountaineers would go on to lose to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 35-30 to finish 7-5 overall.
The 1998 season was full of promise given the fact that the Mountaineers started the campaign ranked in the top 15, and would open the season at home (on national television) against the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. In front of 68,000+, the Gold and Blue failed to take advantage of the boisterous home crowd, dropping the opener 34-17.
However, the team would rally to win 8 of their next 10 games (including a 38 point blowout of Pitt) to earn a third straight bowl bid. The Mountaineers would go on to lose to Missouri in the 1998 Insight.com Bowl to finish the campaign 8-4 overall.
Following his graduation from West Virginia University, Cogdell would go on to pursue a career in coaching. Cogdell got his first taste of coaching experience, serving as an assistant at Miramar High School in his hometown of Miami from 2002-2006.
In 2007, Cogdell would be promoted to head coach where he had the pleasure of teaching the game to a few recent WVU legends like former defensive tackle, Josh Taylor, current wide receiver, Ivan McCartney, current St. Louis Rams wide receiver, Stedman Bailey, and current New York Jets starting quarterback, Geno Smith.
Most recently, Damon Cogdell has returned to WVU to serve the program as an assistant coach. He accepted the position in January of this year, and will be working with Tony Gibson, Tom Bradley, and the rest of the defensive coaches on the staff this fall.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-60 are still available here at WVUPros.com.