Mike Locksley's staff took another step toward completion Tuesday, as he's secured a defensive line coach. Maryland football alumnus and former All-ACC selection Delbert Cowsette will return to College Park to coach his former position.
Cowsette has spent the past five seasons at the University of Albany, coaching the defensive tackles and later being promoted to assistant head coach. He and Locksley first crossed paths during his collegiate days, when Locksley was the running backs coach and later running game coordinator while Cowsette played for the Terps.
A seventh-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Cowsette played six seasons at the next level after being drafted by Washington, playing in between for various Arena Football squads. He first delved into coaching in 2004 as defensive line coach of Potomac High School. Once he was done playing, the former Terp returned to College Park in 2007 as the assistant strength and conditioning coach, then spent two seasons as a coaching intern for the linemen. He’d spend a couple stints at Albany and Hampton, serving as defensive line coach, defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator over his time at the latter.
Albany’s defense struggled in 2018 but was generally a plus throughout Cowsette’s tenure. His lines forced their way into the backfield for 24 sacks in 2016 and 2017. The Great Danes also had the No. 2 scoring defense in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2016. Cowsette also coached defensive end Malachi Hoskins to two straight All-CAA selections, with 16 sacks over those two seasons.
He inherits a defensive line that will return Adam McLean and Keiron Howard on the interior, but lose Jesse Aniebonam and Byron Cowart on the outside. Who steps up in their absence is something that may be decided in spring ball or take until the fall to show. Whether Maryland sticks with the base 4-2-5 defense that DJ Durkin ran is also yet to be seen.
Cowsette’s hire nearly completes Maryland’s defensive staff. The Terps have not made an official hire to coach linebackers, although special teams coordinator John Papuchis was previously reported to be filling that position.