Eastern names new defensive coordinator
Last updated 3/23/2022 at 6:08am
CHENEY – Former Eastern defensive line coach Jeff Copp is taking on the defensive coordinator role for the Eagles. Copp has taught every defensive position on the field during his tenured career and is familiar with the Big-Sky Conference competition, having spent time coaching with UC Davis, Northern Arizona, and Idaho State before coming to Eastern in 2020.
“I’ve coached every position on defense at some point in my career,” Copp said. “Coming to Eastern Washington and coaching the defensive line again, which I hadn’t done in 15 years, actually kind of refocused me and helped me understand what’s going on up front again.”
Copp plans to keep the defensive scheme intact. The current team roster is built on what the Eagles were trying to accomplish on defense last year and not much will change in that regard.
“It’d be foolish to completely change from what we were—we’ve been getting better over the last two years,” Copp said.
The Eagles gave up a lot of explosive running plays last year. Copp plans to focus on shoring things up this coming season.
“We have to do a better job of stopping gap scheme runs, powers and counters—we have to do a much better job of stopping those,” Copp said.
Copp’s answer was simple when asked who their most formidable opponent would be next season.
“Us, 100 percent,” he said.
Copp said the Eagles are looking forward to having a season free of COVID-19 protocols. It will be their first year experiencing a routine spring training camp for many of the younger players.
“It’s going to be fun having a spring practice again,” Copp said. “It’s going to be good getting back to the basics.”
Copp was a pass rusher for Boise State. He earned All-Big West honors and back-to-back Humanitarian Bowl wins in 1999 and 2000. He’s been coaching for over 20 years and said the people within the football community keep him coming back.
“The reason I do it is to influence these guys’ lives and watch them grow up from the time they walk on campus as 17 and 18 year-olds to the time they walk across that stage with a degree when they’re 22-23,” Coop said. “It’s an unbelievable experience playing a small part of their lives.”