Madison Academy football coach Eric Cohu resigns to take job with Israel’s National team

Madison Academy announced this morning that football coach Eric Cohu has resigned to become offensive coordinator and international ambassador for the Israel Football League’s National team.

Cohu went 87-12 with three Class 3A state championships (2012, 2013, 2014) in seven seasons with the Mustangs. His 2011 team was the state runner-up.

Madison Academy Coach Eric Cohu“I’ve been working on a part-time basis with the IFL for several years and I love doing that,” Cohu told AL.com. “It’s been a a lot of fun and rewarding work to be able to travel and help the great game of football spread to other parts of the world.”

Cohu inherited a Madison Academy program in 2009 that had won just five playoff games in its history. His MA squads went 25-4 in the postseason and 50-1 in region play. Among his former players were last year’s Mr. Football and current Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

“I want to thank God for the outstanding run we’ve had here,” Cohu said. “It’s been very exciting to have a successful program. But certainly to see young men develop in their character, football ability and relationships, that to me is the most rewarding thing.”

Cohu will be join the Israeli team’s staff this summer as it prepares for two games in September in Italy. Upon returning to the U.S., he’ll work “to develop strategic partnerships to help develop the league through coaching conduits, colleges, NFL teams and businesses to help develop the league with the resources here in the United States where football is prominent.”

Cohu has been a consultant for the IFL since 2007, and he made annual summer trips to Israel to conduct camps and clinics. The Israeli National Team is the nation’s “all-star” adult football team, according to a MA press release. The team competes in the International Federation of American Football-Europe. The IFL is sponsored by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family.

Cohu met with Madison Academy players this morning.

“I have tried to preach a program that’s not one person,” he said. “We certainly had some great players, but we didn’t succeed without everybody fitting into their roles. What I tried to tell them is, if they rally behind whoever comes in, they’re going to be successful. And a lot of our current juniors have the ability to play at the next level. So it gives them a chance to start a transition of learning new systems and that sort of thing right now. It’s going to be good; new energy, new vision. That’s exciting as well.”

Madison Academy will immediately begin searching for a new coach with Cohu playing an “instrumental”role in the process, the release said.

The Mustangs went 11-2 last season, falling to eventual state champion Piedmont in the quarterfinals. Plenty of talent is expected to return, including four-star offensive tackle Austin Troxell, quarterback Grayson Edgemon, running backs KeKe Matthews and Jordan Garrett, receiver Jaelin Ferdinand and linebacker Robbie Orfield. Troxell, Matthews, Garrett and Ferdinand also played defense last season.

“I think that this (coaching position) will probably garner a lot of interest from some really good coacCoach Cohuhes because the program right now is very successful,” Cohu said. “And we’ve got a very young team that did very well this year. I’m excited to see how far MA can continue to build and develop.”

Cohu was the head coach at Jackson (Tenn.) Christian from 2002-05, going 38-12. He then spent two seasons as an assistant at Liberty Christian (Va.) Academy.

Cohu and his family will remain in the Huntsville area. His wife, Carolyn, is a physical education teacher at “Little MA”, and his daughter, Cassie, attends the upper school. Cohu’s son, Baylor,  who played football for the Mustangs, graduates in the spring and is committed to Harding (Ark.).