LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS: Detroit’s defensive line continued to be the heart of the Lions’ defense in 2012. The unit contributed 31 of the team’s 34 sacks and helped the Lions defense rank third in total negative plays (123) and second in tackles for loss on rushing plays (78).
In 2009, Kocurek helped rookie DT Sammie Hill, who was drafted out of Stillman College in the fourth round (115th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft, emerge as an opening day starter. He finished the season with 26 tackles (14 solo) and two fumble recoveries in 13 games while making the transition from a small college prospect to NFL starter (12 starts).
In 2007, Kocurek served as the assistant head coach and defensive line coach at West Texas A&M where he helped coach the Buffaloes to the 2007 Lone Star Conference title as well as the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Buffaloes became one of the top defensive units in the LSC and led the conference in scoring defense.
Under Kocurek’s guidance, Brandon Swain became one of the top defensive players at the Division II level and was a 2007 First-Team Daktronics, AFCA and AP Little All-American and conference defensive lineman of the year after recording 24.5 tackles for losses and 14 sacks.
Kocurek served as the defensive line coach at Texas A&M-Commerce in 2006 and helped guide the Lions’ top-ranked defensive unit which finished with No. 1 in total and scoring defense.
For two seasons (2004-05) Kocurek served as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M-Kingsville and coached the Havelina’s defensive line where he was active in the development of Wilbert Martin, who was twice selected as first team All-LSC and was a free agent signee of the Baltimore Ravens.
Kocurek began his coaching career in 2003 as a student assistant at Texas Tech. While in Lubbock, he assisted with the defensive linemen and helped coach the Red Raiders to a 2003 Houston Bowl win over Navy.
Prior to coaching, Kocurek spent two years in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans (2002) and the Seattle Seahawks (2001) after being selected in the seventh round (237th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by Seattle.
Kocurek played collegiate football at Texas Tech and was a three-time All-Big 12 selection. As a senior, he was selected as team captain and named defensive player of the year.
KOCUREK'S COACHING BACKGROUND
Detroit Lions 2009-present
Stephen F. Austin State University 2008
West Texas A&M 2007
Texas A&M Commerce 2006
Texas A&M Kingsville 2004-05
Texas Tech 2003
Head Coach Jim Schwartz is hoping Jim Washburn's history with many of the coaches on his staff - mainly defensive line coach Kris Kocurek - will help the defensive line get back to the way it performed in 2011.