FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart Head Football Coach Mark Nofri announced on Monday the promotion of Michael Cooke to Defensive Coordinator, as well as the additions of Gordon Hill and Lewis Walker to the coaching staff.
Cooke is entering his fourth season at SHU. In his three years as Inside Linebackers Coach, he has coached three All-NEC inside linebackers in Kellen Sperduto, Kevin Barry, and CJ Parvelus. Both Barry and Parvelus were All-NEC Second Team selections in 2016 with Parvelus leading the Pioneers with 100 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss.
"Coach Cooke has done an amazing job with our linebackers since he came to SHU in 2014," said Nofri. "I trust he will bring that same enthusiasm and leadership to our defense as a whole."
Hill returns to his alma mater as Outside Linebackers Coach. The 2014 graduate was an integral part of Sacred Heart's 2013 and 2014 NEC Championship teams as a safety. Hill was a two-time All-NEC First Team safety and graduated as SHU's second all-time leading tackler with 325. In his senior season, Hill was an All-New England selection as well as a FCS Second Team All-American by The Sports Network. He was in training camp with the San Diego Chargers in 2015.
Walker comes to Sacred Heart after serving as a Defensive Quality Control and Safeties Coach at Columbia last year. He will be taking on the role of wide receivers coach with the Pioneers. Prior to Columbia, Walker was the secondary coach and special teams coordinator at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan, Utah. Walker graduated from the University of Utah in 2013 and played one season with the Utes after transferring from Hawaii.
"I'm excited to add Coach Hill and Coach Walker to our staff. Coach Hill helped define what our program is now when he was a student-athlete, and I look forward to him continuing to help us move in the right direction as part of our coaching staff. Coach Walker comes from a high level football background and we're looking forward to him working with our wide receivers."
SHU opens its 2017 season at Campus Field on Sept. 2 against Stetson. The Pioneers have posted four consecutive winning seasons since 2013.