Dana Holgorsen adds former Longhorns assistant to Cougars staff

Jay Valai to coach UH Cornerbacks

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2019, file photo, Houston coach Dana Holgorsen watches during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against SMU in Houston. Holgorsen, in his second year at Houston, and the Cougars face Baylor this week, in the first meeting between the schools since 1995. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2019, file photo, Houston coach Dana Holgorsen watches during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against SMU in Houston. Holgorsen, in his second year at Houston, and the Cougars face Baylor this week, in the first meeting between the schools since 1995. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Houston Football head coach Dana Holgorsen announced on Wednesday the addition of Jay Valai to the Cougars’ staff as the program’s cornerbacks coach.

Valai (pronounced vuh-LYE) brings both collegiate and NFL experience to Houston. He spent the 2020 season as the cornerbacks coach at Texas, helping the Longhorns to a berth in the Alamo Bowl.

“Jay is a Texas native that has coached at the college level as well as in the NFL,” Holgorsen said. “He’s an energetic coach and a great recruiter that knows this state well. We are excited to welcome him and his family to Houston.”

A native of Euless, Texas, Valai was also the cornerbacks coach at Rutgers in 2019 and spent the 2018 season with the Kansas City Chiefs as the assistant defensive backs coach/defensive quality control.

I’m proud and honored to be a part of the staff at the University of Houston,Valai said. “I’m excited to get to work with Coach Holgorsen and the rest of our coaches. I feel blessed to represent this program and this university.”

Valai also worked as a defensive quality control coach at Georgia from 2016-17, helping the Bulldogs to the 2017 SEC Championship and an appearance in the 2017 CFP National Championship Game.

As a student-athlete, Valai was a four-year letterwinner at Wisconsin and was named a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2008 and 2009. From 2011-16, Valai operated his own sports-performance facility and worked with professional athletes from the NBA and NFL, as a well as high school student-athletes.

Valai lettered in football, basketball and track at Colleyville Heritage High School. As a senior in 2005, he was a PrepStar All-American, first-team All-District 5-5A selection and district special teams player of the year. A team captain that year, he was also named the team’s co-defensive MVP and its special teams MVP.

Valai and his wife Courtney are the parents to three children – daughters, Jayla and Kenzli, and son, Jaxon.

JAY VALAI FILE

Coaching History

2021- Houston – Cornerbacks

2020 Texas – Cornerbacks

2019 Rutgers – Cornerbacks

2018 Kansas City Chiefs – Assistant Defensive Backs Coach/Quality Control

2016-17 Georgia – Defensive Quality Control

Bowl Games (4) Texas (1): 2020 Alamo Bowl Georgia (3): 2018 Rose Bowl, 2018 CFP National Championship, 2016 Liberty Bowl Playing Experience Wisconsin (2007-10)