Todd Cooley enters his fifth season as head coach of the Delta State University Statesman football program. In his previous four seasons, Cooley is 26-15 overall (.634) and 15-13 in Gulf South Conference play. He became the 19th coach in program history on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013
In his first campaign as head coach, Cooley guided the Statesmen to a 7-3 overall record and a second place finish in the Gulf South Conference. Inheriting a team that went 3-7 the year before, the high-energy Cooley built a cohesive family atmosphere in less than nine months. That energy helped feed a program's turnaround in just one season. In 2014, Cooley led the Statesmen to a 9-2 record, along with DSU's seventh Gulf South Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs, the school's first since 2011.
For his efforts, Cooley was named Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year by his peers in the league. In all, 11 Statesmen were named to the All-GSC squad, including GSC Freshman of the Year Tyler Sullivan, who quarterbacked DSU to a 4-1 mark as a starter.
DSU averaged 40.0 points per game offensively, while averaging 472.2 yards per game. The Statesmen pulled off three victories over nationally ranked opponents after defeating No. 21 North Alabama 37-34, No. 14 Tarleton State 38-36 and No. 24 Valdosta State 63-55.
In 2014, Cooley earned his second consecutive GSC Coach of the Year accolade, sharing the honor with Florida Tech's Steve Englehart. Twelve Statesmen were selected to the All-GSC squads, while Trey Shaw captured the league's Defensive Freshman of the Year honor. DSU put up an impressive 5,395 yards of total offense, outscoring opponents 491-215.
With expectations riding high entering the 2015 season, the Statesmen raced out of the gate to a 4-0 record and No. 5 national ranking. Unfortunately, the ride would be short-lived, as injuries began to mount and derailed a title run for DSU. The Statesmen finished the year 6-5 overall and 2-5 in GSC play.
The Statesmen finished the year leading the GSC in passing (312.4), while ranking second in scoring (36.4) and third in total offense (426.7).
In 2016, DSU finished its season ranked No. 3 in the GSC in scoring offense (36.9), total offense (446.8) and passing offense (287.7).
Known as one of the top offensive coordinators in the country, Cooley brought his high-octane system to Delta State after serving as the offensive coordinator at Northwestern Louisiana State University (2009-2012), University of Central Arkansas (2005-2008) and Arkansas Tech University (2004).
In three years running the NSU offense, Cooley’s established the Demons as one of the top units in the Southland Conference. In 2012 under Cooley’s tutelage Brad Henderson finished the season ranked seventh in the SLC with 181-of-330 passes completed for 1,874 yards with 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The Demons averaged 24.1 points per game and ranked fifth in the league in scoring.
Cooley’s explosive offenses at Central Arkansas lit up scoreboards around the Southland Conference in 2007-08 and during his four seasons with the Bears as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. In that time (2005-08), UCA posted an overall 35-13 record, including an 11-3 SLC mark in the Bears’ first two years (2007-08) as an NCAA Division I FCS member.
In 2008, Cooley’s offense at UCA scored 40 points or more in seven of 12 games. The Bears had six receivers make 23 or more catches, four with 35 or more receptions.
In 2007-08, Cooley’s offense averaged 445 yards and 35.4 points per game. In his last season at UCA, the Bears went 10-2, 6-1 in the SLC, led the conference with a 37.5 scoring average and a 48 percent third-down conversion rate.
In 2007-08, the Bears threw for 57 touchdowns and completed 68 percent of their 804 passes with only 14 interceptions -- just four in 400 pass attempts in 2008. UCA ran for 47 touchdowns and 4.2 yards per carry in his last two years. In their first two seasons of full-fledged Division I competition in 2007-08, the Bears averaged 287 passing yards and 157 on the ground while making only 32 turnovers in 23 games.
Cooley helped his alma mater, Arkansas Tech, and UCA to reach the NCAA Division II playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 2004-05. He spent one season at Arkansas Tech, and in 2004 he restructured the Wonder Boys offense from a unit averaging 18.4 points per game in 2003 to a squad that averaged 32.2 per game. Arkansas Tech went 10-2 and became the first Arkansas school to host and win a Division II playoff game.
He was hired at UCA the following February and promptly helped the Bears win the 2005 Gulf South Conference championship and they went on to reach the Division II playoff quarterfinals.
Cooley was also quarterbacks coach from 2001-03 at Ouachita Baptist University for former DSU head coach Todd Knight, quarterbacks and receivers coach in 2000 at Northeastern Oklahoma for a Lone Star Conference championship team that reached the Division II playoffs, and running backs coach in 1998-99 at Arkansas Tech, helping the Wonder Boys win the 1999 Gulf South Conference title.
At UCA, he coached record-shattering quarterback Nathan Brown, the 2008 SLC Player of the Year and the 2007 SLC Offensive Player of the Year. Brown was invited to play in the 2009 Senior Bowl, and is now coaching at UCA. He also coached a record-setting passer at Arkansas Tech in 2004, an All-Lone Star Conference quarterback in 2000 at Northeast Oklahoma and the 1999 Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year at Arkansas Tech.
As a player, Cooley set 13 school records at quarterback for Arkansas Tech in 1996-97 and was a finalist for the 1997 Harlon Hill Trophy presented to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division II. He was also Academic All-GSC in 1997 and was named to the Daktronics All-Region Team in 1997.
At Nashville (Ark.) High School, he was an all-state passer for coach Billy Laird. In 1993, Cooley’s senior year, the Scrappers became the first NHS team to reach the state championship game as Cooley broke state single-season passing record by throwing for over 2,300 yards.
Born September 7, 1975, Cooley married the former Lisa Gatlin of Conway, Ark., on July 16, 2005. His parents are Lynne Cooley and the late Don Cooley, who reside in Nashville, Ark. Cooley’s father was a longtime Arkansas high school football coach and his mother is a reading specialist for the state of Arkansas. Cooley has two younger sisters, Paige Fisher of Russellville, Ark., and Kristi Simms of Natchitoches.
“I got to know Todd while he was at UCA, as a competitor and friend. I was very impressed with his coaching style and his knowledge of the game. He’s a bright guy with great enthusiasm and I am very excited about what he will bring the Delta State University football program and the University as a whole.”
FORMER DELTA STATE HEAD COACH (2002-2006)
“Coach Cooley is a fierce competitor on the field and in recruiting circles. He is one of the bright talents and innovators in our game and I believe he will be an excellent addition to the Delta State University family.”
HEAD COACH, UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS
“Coach Cooley will bring an amazing level of passion and energy to the Delta State University program. He’s a player’s coach, an accomplished recruiter and his knowledge of the game is outstanding. Coach Cooley will produce a fun and exciting brand of football while embracing the traditions of Delta State and Statesmen football. He was a valuable member of my staff here at OBU and he will be a great asset to DSU.”
HEAD COACH, OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY (1999-PRESENT)
FORMER HEAD COACH DELTA STATE
“Todd will do a great job as head coach at Delta State. He was a fine player on the football for me here at Arkansas Tech and continued to do an exceptional job as offensive coordinator during his last stint at his alma mater. He’s definitely a bright young mind in the game and an outstanding hire for the Statesmen.”
DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS, ARKANSAS TECH
FORMER HEAD COACH ARKANSAS TECH
“Without question, Todd has the competence to be a Head Football Coach of the highest caliber. He has sound knowledge of athletics and the organizational, analytical and personal skills required of this position. Having personally worked on football staffs at Florida State University, University of Alabama, Delta State University, the New York Jets, and now Stanford University, I am confident Todd would be an invaluable asset to the Delta State Athletic Department.”
RUN GAME COORDINATOR, STANFORD
FORMER DSU OC (2005-2006)