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Hawaii football: Nick Rolovich Retains Jake Cookus Special Teams Coach

Jake Cookus marks the third member of last year's coaching staff to return for 2016

Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

University of Hawaii head football coach Nick Rolovich has retained special teams coach Jake Cookus, making him the third member from last year's coaching staff to return for 2016. Cookus joins offensive line coach Chris Naeole and defensive backs coach Abe Elimimian as Rolovich's initial hires.

"I'm happy to have Jake on board and I appreciated his work on special teams last year and also his efforts to keep the kids going through a different time at the end of last season," Rolovich said. "I've enjoyed getting to know him and I'm confident he will only make our special teams better."

With Cookus running Special Teams, UH ranked third in the MWC in net punting (41.5 avg.) while punter Rigoberto Sanchez was second with a 45.1 average. Sanchez also doubled as the team's placekicker and converted 8-of-11 field goal attempts and 64 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. In addition, as a team, UH averaged 21.3 yards per kickoff return and 7.7 yards per punt return.

Prior to joining the UH staff for the 2015 season, Cookus spent two seasons at Montana as the co-special teams coordinator and safeties coach; and seven seasons at Weber State, where he also split time as co-defensive coordinator during his final three years with the Wildcats. His other previous stops included Kentucky as a graduate assistant and Southern Oregon as linebackers coach.

A native of Roseburg, Ore., Cookus played for Oregon State and was a team captain and honorable mention all-Pac-10 as a senior in 2001. He graduated from OSU in 2002 with a degree in business finance and a minor in athletic administration.

Rolovich begins his stint as Hawaii's Head Football Coach down in Sydney, Australia against California.