Wide Receivers Coach of the Arizona Cardinals
Darryl Drake enters his third season with the Cardinals and 12th year as an NFL assistant after he joined the team as wide receivers coach on 2/5/13. He came to Arizona in 2013 after coaching wide receivers the previous nine seasons (2004-12) with the Chicago Bears.
With the Cardinals in 2013, Drake coached wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was selected to his eighth career Pro Bowl after collecting 10 touchdowns, becoming one of just nine players in NFL history with at least 10 TDs in five different seasons. He also helped second-year receiver Michael Floyd to his first 1,000-yard season (1,041 yards) while collecting a career-high 65 receptions. The Cardinals offense finished 12th in the NFL and Arizona’s 5,542 net yards of offense were good for fifth in team history.
In 2012 with the Bears, Drake tutored Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who set Chicago franchise records with 118 catches for 1,508 yards to go along with 11 TDs. Marshall finished second in the NFL in both receptions and receiving yards behind Detroit’s Calvin Johnson. Throughout his tenure in Chicago, Drake helped develop young talent at the wide receiver position, including Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester. In 2011, Knox finished second in the NFL in receiving average (19.6 ypc) a year after finishing fifth in the NFL at 18.8 yards per reception. In 2009, Knox’s 45 receptions tied for the most ever by a Bears rookie wide receiver, tied for third all-time by a Chicago rookie and was seventh among NFL rookies.
In 2009, the Bears were tied for the fewest dropped passes in the NFL with just 20. During Chicago’s Super Bowl run in 2006, the Bears led the NFL by hauling in 95.9% (282 of 294) of the catchable balls thrown their way. The 12 drops by Chicago’s receivers that season equaled Buffalo for fewest in the league.
Prior to joining the Bears in 2004, Drake coached for 21 seasons at the collegiate level. He spent six seasons (1998-2003) as the wide receivers coach at the University of Texas, also adding the title of associate head coach on Mack Brown’s staff prior to the 2003 season. At Texas, Drake guided three different Longhorn wide receivers to first-team All-Big 12 honors and directed three of the most productive receiving duos in Texas history. While coaching the first three 1,000-yard receivers in the school history, the Longhorns averaged nearly 10 wins a season. Drake mentored first-round draft pick Roy Williams, who finished his Texas career as the leading receiver in school history with 251 receptions for 4,017 yards (16.0 yards per reception) and 37 touchdowns. He also coached Wayne McGarity, a fourth-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 1999.
Prior to working at Texas, Drake spent one season (1997) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Baylor after five seasons coaching wide receivers at Georgia (1992-96). During his time with the Bulldogs, Drake tutored some of the top receivers in the SEC, including NFL Pro Bowler Hines Ward.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Western Kentucky, as a graduate assistant (1983-84) and spent nine seasons with the Hilltoppers, working with the wide receivers for four seasons (1985-88), the secondary for two years (1989-90) and serving as the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 1991.
Drake starred as a wide receiver for WKU in 1975 and during the 1977-78 seasons. He helped the Hilltoppers to an 8-2 record and the Ohio Valley Conference Championship as a senior and was a member of their 11-2 OVC Championship squad that played in the NCAA Division II Championship game in 1975.
Following his collegiate career, Drake spent time in training camp with the Washington Redskins (1979) and Cincinnati Bengals (1983) in addition to playing one season with the Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (1981). The Louisville, KY, native earned his bachelor’s degree in 1980 and a master’s degree in 1984 from Western Kentucky.
Drake was an All-State performer in football and an All-American in both track and field and basketball at Flaget (Louisville, KY) High School. He and his wife, Sheila, have three daughters, Shanice, Felisha and Marian and two grandchildren.