Former All-American and six-year NFL veteran Frank Okam has been hired as Baylor’s defensive line coach, head coach Matt Rhule announced Wednesday.
“Frank is a living embodiment of everything the young men in our program should want to accomplish,” Rhule said. “He’s a college graduate, an All-American, a Big 12 champion, a national champion, a NFL draft pick and then he continued life after football earning his master’s degree from Rice and is now one of the top young football coaches in the country.
“We are excited to have Coach Okam on staff and for him to mentor our defensive line group and help take them to the next level.”
Okam (OH-cam) comes to Baylor following a four-year stint at Rice from 2014-17, the last two seasons as defensive line coach.
Under Okam’s leadership in 2017, Rice defensive end Brian Womac was a first team all-conference selection, set a school record with 22 tackles for loss and led Conference USA in tackles for a loss and sacks. Additionally, defensive tackle Roe Wilkins was honorable mention All-Conference USA after posting 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss.
“For me this has been a great experience,” Okam said. “Personally, having the chance to come to a school like Baylor in the Big 12 is really exciting for myself and my career. I want to thank Coach Rhule for the opportunity he has given me and this chance to take the next step in my career.
“Working with Coach [Phil] Snow and the rest of the defensive staff has been great. They have taken me under their wing to teach me the system and help me get comfortable with the players so that when we hit spring ball, we are ready to go.”
Okam was promoted to defensive line coach at Rice prior to the 2016 season after spending two years as a graduate assistant with the Owls.
Okam was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, where he played for three seasons from 2008-10. He also saw time with Seattle (2010) and Tampa Bay (2010-12). He finished his career with the New York Giants in 2013.
A four-year letterman at defensive tackle at Texas, Okam was a freshman All-American in 2004 and a two-time All-Big 12 honoree for the Longhorns. In 2005, he helped Texas to both Big 12 and BCS National Championships. He earned his degree from Texas in 2007.
Okam, a native of Pine Bluff, Ark., graduated from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas. While at Lake Highlands, he was a Parade and US Army All-American.