Dave Cohen is in his second year at Rutgers and first as the defensive coordinator. He also coaches the linebackers.
In his first season at Rutgers working with the linebacker unit, Cohen helped coach one of the best defensive units in the country. The Scarlet Knights finished fourth in the nation in scoring defense (14.15 points allowed/game), tied for ninth in turnovers gained (32) and 10th in total defense (311.62 yards allowed/game). Linebacker Khaseem Greene earned BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and All-America status after recording 136 tackles and six forced fumbles on the year.
Greene became just the second player in BIG EAST history to be named Defensive Player of the Year twice. He was a fourth round NFL Draft selection of the Chicago Bears while fellow starting linebacker Steve Beauharnais was a seventh round NFL Draft pick of the New England Patriots.
Both linebackers were part of a stout Rutgers run defense that ranked sixth nationally allowing just 97.2 rushing yards per game. The 2012squad was just the third team in school history to yield less than 100 yards rushing per game on the ground. In addition, Rutgers limited the opposition to just six rushing touchdowns in all of 2012 – tied for the third-fewest rushing scores allowed nationally.
Cohen’s linebacker unit was nationally known as one of the top position groups in 2012 as Greene, Beauharnais and Jamal Merrell combined for 302 tackles.
Prior to RU, Cohen spent two successful seasons as the defensive coordinator at Western Michigan. In 2011, his unit was 10th nationally in turnovers gained (31), sixth in red zone defense and first in the nation infourth down defense. Three players earned All-MAC honors, with Drew Nowak being named an All-American.
Cohen was the head coach at Hofstra from 2006-09 before the university decided to drop the program. In 2007, the Pride recorded the second-most improved record in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS),going from 2-9 in 2006 to 7-4. For his efforts, Cohen was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, which is presented annually to the top FCS coach in the country. The defensive unit ranked second in the CAA in total defense, allowing just 312 yards per game.
Cohen served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Delaware from 2002-05, coaching on the same staff as Flood. The Blue Hens won the 2003 National Championship at the FCS level, posting the first shutout in championship game history with a 40-0 win over previously unbeaten Colgate.
Born in Huntington, N.Y., Cohen was a three-time league champion, all-county and All-Long Island selection at Commack North High School. A 1988 business management graduate of Long Island University-C.W. Post, Cohen earned his master's degree in education administration from SUNY-Albany in 1990. While at C.W. Post, he was a two-year starter at defensive tackle and earned CoSIDA Academic All-Region honors as a senior.
Following his first stint at Delaware (1994-98), Cohen moved on to Fordham University, where he served three seasons (1999-2001) as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, including the last two seasons as associate head coach. He began his coaching career as linebackers coach and strength coach at Albany in 1988-09 before moving on to Lafayette College, where he served four seasons from 1990-93 as linebackers and defensive line coach.
Cohen, 46, and his wife Denise have two sons: Charlie and Brian.
The Cohen File
Hometown: Huntington, N.Y.
Alma Mater: LIU-C.W. Post, 1988
Children: Charlie, Brian
2013 – Rutgers (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2012 – Rutgers (linebackers)
2009-10 – Western Michigan (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2006-09 – Hofstra (head coach)
2002-05 – Delaware (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
1999-01 – Fordham (associate head coach/defensive coordinator)
1994-98 – Delaware (defensive line/linebackers)
1990-93 – Lafayette (defensive line/linebackers)
1988-90 – Albany (linebackers/strength coach)
Two-year starter at defensive tackle and earned Academic All-Region honors as a senior at C.W. Post.