On Kopka: Lou Groza Award semifinalist from 1998 who returns as one of the nation's most outstanding kickers ... consistent scoring threat from as far as 50 yards who led the nation in field goals at one point last season, and who ranked nationally all season ... career 18 of 28 (.643) on field goal attempts, and 34 of 36 (.944) on extra-point attempts ... ninth among Maryland career field goal leaders entering his junior season ... has made three field goals in a game three times in two seasons ... named the Terps' top special teams performer as a sophomore, in addition to accolades honoring the letterwinner with the top academic average.
1998: Led Maryland in scoring while booting 12 of 18 field goals ... tied with five others for ninth on Maryland's single season chart with 12 FGs ... finished ranked 43rd nationally after leading the country at one point and ranking in the top 10 virtually all season ... did not miss an attempt that wasn't blocked, or longer than 45 yards ... had 10 field goals in the month of September including five of 45 yards or longer ... after missing 46-yarder in season's first attempt, hit 10 straight until 37-yard attempt was blocked vs. Florida State ... 46-yarder at Virginia was second-longest of career ... pair of 43-yard field goals at West Virginia was first career game with multiple 40-yarders ... pair of 43-yarders were third-longest of career ... was 4 of 6 between 40 and 49 yards and 8 of 9 inside 40 ... only miss inside 40 yards was blocked ... 3 for 3 (23, 42, 29) vs. Temple to earn ACC special teams player of the week honors ... 3 for 4 (46wr, 21, 27, 26) in season opener vs. James Madison ... came out of spring drills contending with senior Brad Rhodes for the placekicking chores ... hit both of his field goal attempts in an overtime "kick-off" to lead his team to victory in the annual spring game.
1997: Became only the third true freshman to kick for the Terps ... saw his first action in the season's fourth game, vs. Temple, when he took over the kickoff and PAT duties ... was the hero in the Terps' win over Duke, earning ACC Rookie of the Week honors after connecting on all three of his field goal attempts (47, 31, 36 yards) in a 16-10 victory ... hit both of his attempts -- from 39 and 44 yards -- in the season finale vs. Georgia Tech ... shared the team lead in scoring, totaling 30 points ... converted 6 of 10 field goal attempts and 12 of 13 extra-point tries.
High School: Graduated from Hollywood Hills High School in 1997 ... was a first team all-state selection as a senior ... also was a two-time all-county and all-conference honoree ... career-long 56-yard field goal came during his senior season, when he made 8 of 11 field goal attempts and all 14 PAT tries ... earned Student-Athlete of the Week honors from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper and was a member of the National Honor Society ... high school coach was Jack Pierson.
Personal: Brian Matthew Kopka ... born Nov. 27, 1978 ... son of Renee Wallack and Sam Kopka ... a brother, Kevin, was a kicker at Notre Dame ... majoring in communications ... Maryland scholar-athlete in first four semesters.
Kopka Up Close