Memphis hires ex-Tulane DL coach Kwahn Drake as offensive analyst
Former Tulane defensive line coach Kwahn Drake is a new offensive analyst for Memphis coach Mike Norvell, according to a source.
This past season was Drake's second as Tulane's defensive line coach. A respected New Orleans recruiter, he tutored senior defensive end Royce LaFrance, who had a team-high 6.5 sacks and was second in tackles for loss for the Green Wave with 13.5. The bright Drake also worked with rising senior defensive tackle Tanzel Smart, who had a team-high 15 tackles for loss. Drake's group helped Tulane finish 12th in the FBS in tackles for loss last season.
However, Drake was not retained by new Tulane coach Willie Fritz, who was hired in December to replace his fired predecessor Curtis Johnson.
Prior to Drake's two seasons as Tulane's defensive line coach, he was a defensive graduate assistant for the Green Wave for two years. That was after Drake spent two seasons as the defensive line coach at legendary St. Augustine High in New Orleans. He was also the program's recruiting coordinator and academic advisor, helping 25 players sign NCAA Division I football scholarships during his tenure.
Drake was also defensive line and special teams coach at St. James (La.) High in 2009. A Destrehan, La., product, he got his start in coaching as a student assistant at his alma mater, Nicholls State.
A highly regarded young offensive mind, the 34-year-old Norvell became Memphis’s coach in December after spending the last four seasons as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator, deputy head coach and quarterbacks coach.
During his tenure with the Sun Devils, Norvell's school record-setting offenses were perennially among the FBS’s highest scoring and most explosive. He replaces Justin Fuente, who left last month to become Virginia Tech’s coach.
Fuente transformed the Tigers from one of college football’s worst programs into a top 25 team with a 26–23 record in four seasons. They finished with a 9–4 mark this past season.
Memphis started spring practice Tuesday and has its spring game April 22.