|Position:||Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line|
|HOMETOWN: Southgate, Mich.|
|COLLEGE: University of Toledo, '91|
|BIRTHDATE: Nov. 5, 1968|
|CHILDREN: Peyton, Madeline and Max|
|1993-1995||Toledo||Offensive Line/Tight Ends|
|Bowl Games Coached (12)|
|2016||Russell Athletic Bowl||Miami|
|2013||Cotton Bowl Classic||Missouri|
|2007||Cotton Bowl Classic||Missouri|
|1995||Las Vegas Bowl||Toledo|
Craig Kuligowski is in his first season as the Hurricanes’ assistant head coach/defensive line coach and is in his second year on the Miami coaching staff.
In Kuligowski’s first year in Coral Gables, Miami’s defensive line enjoyed vast improvements under his guidance and served as one of the top units both in the ACC and nationally in 2016.
At the conclusion of the 2016 season, Miami was ranked No. 20 nationally in total defense (up from No. 69 the previous season), No. 9 in yards per play (No. 86 in 2015), No. 12 in scoring defense (No. 77 in 2015), No. 5 in tackles for loss (No. 105 in 2015), No. 22 in team sacks (No. 70 in 2015) and tied for No. 8 in defensive touchdowns allowed (No. 61 in 2015).
Kuligowski arrived in Coral Gables, Fla., after spending the previous 15 years as the defensive line coach at the University of Missouri.
During his 15-year tenure with the Tigers, for whom he was the longest-tenured position coach in the SEC, Kuligowski coached 24 players to all-conference honors. In addition, Kuligowski produced four first round NFL Draft picks since 2009.
In 2015, Kuligowski’s defensive line helped the Tigers rank second in the nation in team tackles for loss. The Tigers also ranked ninth in the nation in total defense.
In 2014, Mizzou led the SEC in sacks (a school-record 44), and was the stingiest defense in the league, allowing a conference-low 300.8 yards per game in league games.
The 2013 season saw the emergence of Michael Sam, who became one of the more compelling stories of the year, as he rose from little pre-season fanfare to become one of the top rush ends in the nation. He led the SEC in both sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19.0) was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and became MU’s first defensive First-Team All-American since former great Justin Smith in 2001. Sam was a finalist for the Nagurski, Lombardi and Hendricks awards.
Kony Ealy also turned in an outstanding season, which culminated with him winning First-Team All-SEC acclaim by the Associated Press.
Kuligowski’s defensive line was arguably the most disruptive and deepest in the nation in 2013, as it was responsible for 39 of Mizzou’s 41 season sacks (which led the SEC and ranked 12th nationally), while notching 73.5 of the team’s 107 tackles for loss.
Sheldon Richardson developed into one of the top defensive tackles in the nation in 2012, and claimed First-Team All-SEC honors for his play, which included leading all SEC linemen in tackles (75).
Coach “Kool” debuted a star pupil in 2009: redshirt freshman end Aldon Smith, who turned out to be one of the top freshmen in the entire nation. Smith was named the Big 12 Conference Defensive Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, in unanimous fashion, and he also earned third-team All-American honors, as well as first-team Freshman All-American honors for his outstanding play in 2009.
Smith broke the MU single-season quarterback sacks record in 2009, with 11.5 to surpass the old mark of 11 set in 2000 by former Missouri All-American Justin Smith. Aldon Smith also had 19 tackles for loss in his first year on the field for Mizzou, and he led all of the nation’s freshmen in both sacks and tackles for loss a year ago.
In 2007, Kuligowski coached all four of his starters on the Tiger defensive line to at least honorable mention All-Big 12 honors.
Kuligowski was credited with building one of the top defensive lines in the MAC during his tenure at Toledo. In 2000, the Rockets were ranked fifth in the country in rushing defense, allowing just 81.5 yards per game and 2.46 yards per carry. They were ranked third in the country in scoring defense, third in total defense and No. 1 in turnover margin.
Kuligowski was a four-year standout at Toledo (1987-90) as an offensive tackle. He was named first team All-MAC two straight years and helped lead the Rockets to the MAC title his senior year.
Kuligowski earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Toledo in 1991. He and his wife Mary have two daughters: Peyton and Madeline, and a son, Max.