Dave Cohen, the former head coach at Hofstra University, is in his fifth season as Wake Forest’s defensive line coach in 2018.
In his three seasons at Wake Forest, Cohen has mentored three players who have earned All-ACC honors. In 2014, Josh Banks earned honorable mention All-ACC honors while Tylor Harris was named second team All-ACC. Both players wound up in NFL training camps following their playing career. In 2016, Cohen helped defensive end Duke Ejiofor earn third team All-ACC recognition while leading the team with 10.5 sacks. Cohen’s defensive line played a key role in Wake Forest’s Military Bowl win over No. 23 Temple, holding the Owls to -21 yards rushing, the fewest by a Deacon opponent since 1952.
The Demon Deacons recorded 3.15 sacks per game during the 2016 season, 11th-most in the NCAA, while the Deacs’ 41 sacks on the season are the second-most in program history.
Cohen was the head coach at Hofstra for four seasons from 2006 through 2009 when the school dropped the program. In 2007 he guided the Pride to a 7-4 record, the second-most improved record in the Football Championship Subdivision that season. For his efforts, Cohen was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award which is presented each year to the top FCS coach in the nation.
Cohen and Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson first worked together in 1989 and 1990 at the University of Albany under legendary head coach Bob Ford as Cohen was in charge of the linebackers and strength and conditioning. In 1991, Cohen became the defensive line and linebackers coach at Lafayette. After three seasons with the Leopards, he joined the University of Delaware in 1994 as the defensive line and linebackers coach, spending five seasons with the Blue Hens. Cohen helped coach Delaware to three FCS playoff appearances including a spot in the national semifinals in 1997.
In 1999, Cohen joined head coach Dave Clawson's first-year staff at Fordham and spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator, associate head coach and linebackers coach. Following the 2001 season, Cohen returned to Delaware for four seasons and helped the Blue Hens to the FCS national championship in 2003 with a 40-0 shutout of Colgate in the title game. Delaware went 15-1 that season en route to the national title. He was named the I-AA National Defensive Coordinator of the Year by Football Monthly.
Following his four-year stint at Hofstra, Cohen became the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Western Michigan in 2010. In 2011 the Broncos' defense was ranked 10th in the nation in turnovers gained with 31, was sixth in red zone defense and first in the nation in fourth down defense. Three of his players earned All-Mid-American Conference honors with Drew Nowak earning All-America status.
In 2012, Cohen took over the linebacker duties at Rutgers and coached one of the top defensive units in school history. The Scarlet Knights finished fourth in the nation in scoring defense (14.2 points allowed per game), tied for ninth in turnovers gained (32) and 10th in total defense (311.6 yards per game). Linebacker Khaseem Greene earned Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors and was named an All-America after making 136 tackles and forcing six fumbles. Green was a fourth round pick of the Chicago Bears in the NFL Draft.
In 2013, Cohen coordinated a Rutgers defense that ranked third in the nation in run defense.
Cohen is reunited on the Wake Forest staff with defensive coordinator Mike Elko. Elko served as the defensive coordinator at Hofstra from 2006-08 under Cohen.
A native of 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 playing at C.W. Post, Cohen was a two-year starter at defensive tackle and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors as a senior.
Cohen and his wife Denise have two sons, Charlie and Brian.
The Dave Cohen File
October 6, 1966
Charlie and Brian
C.W. Post, 1988
B.A. in Business Management
Ball State (2000-04) ... Defensive tackle ... Two-year starter ... Earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors as a senior.