On Cuko: Comes off a solid season as the starting placekicker ... Very serious about his role on the team ... Worked hard to improve his kickoffs in spring season ... Primary kicker as a true freshman back in 2005, earned the job back last season after two seasons on the sidelines ... Has worked hard to improve his accuracy and distance on kicks ... Excellent leg strength ... Native of Albania, who grew up in Italy before coming to United States at age 14.
All-Time UMass Career Made Field Goals Leader (31)
As a redshirt senior in 2009: Game-by-Game Statistics
As a redshirt junior in 2008: Junior placekicker who returned to starting role after two years as back-up to All-conference kicker Chris Koepplin ... Has 59 points in return to starting role as a kicker on 45-of-46 on PATs and 6-of-8 on field goals ... 71 made PATs, ranks fifth-best in a career ... With 41 PATs, fourth-best season in UMass history ... Missed a possible game-tying extra point vs. Maine (11/8) ... Career-best seven PATs at Rhode Island (11/1) ... Booted career-best three field goals (22, 44, 38) on four attempts vs. #9 Richmond (10/18) ... Kicked the go-ahead 38-yard field goal in win vs. #16 Delaware (10/4). Missed a 45-yarder at end of first half ... Made five PATs and a 39-yarder at #7 James Madison (9/13) ... Kicked second-career game-winning field goal, from 42 yards at Holy Cross (9/6) as time expired. Kick came on grass and was longest of career.
As a redshirt sophomore in 2007: Did not play in any games ... Worked as back-up kicker ... CAA Academic All-Conference.
As a sophomore in 2006: Took a medical redshirt season ... Suffered from a groin injury early in the season which limited him ... Took the opening kickoff at Villanova (9/16), but did not kick again for the season after aggravating his injury.
As a freshman in 2005: Freshman starting placekicker who handled all field goals and kickoffs ... Made six field goals on 13 tries and is 27-of-32 on extra point tries in first season ... Totaled 45 points, second to Steve Baylark on the team ... Kicked a 23-yarder in finale at Hofstra (11/19) ... Converted two field goals (41 and 35 yards) along with three extra-points at Army (11/12) for nine points ... Named Co-UMass/Dinn Brothers Athlete of Week (Oct. 17) and Atlantic 10 Co-Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 16 after dramatic game-winning kick to beat James Madison ... Kicked game-winning 41-yard field goal with eight seconds left to lift UMass to 10-7 win over No. 4 James Madison. Kick was first game-winning field goal at UMass since 1993 and first in last minute since 1990. Kick was also named The Sports Network's "Play of the Week" ... Made four of five extra points attempts vs. Albany (9/17) ... Made two PATs, but missed 21-yard field goal at Colgate (9/10) ... Opened career with a pair of field goals (24 and 31 yards) at Richmond (9/1), also made one extra point, but missed one kicking it into opponent's helmet.
Before UMass: Played at Beverly High School for Head Coach Dan Bauer ... Served as a team captain ... honored as all-conference for three seasons ... Named the special teams player of the week 12 times in his career over three seasons ... Played in the 2005 Shriners and Agganis games in Boston ... Honored as the MVP of the Thanksgiving Day game ... Made five-of-six field goals, 16-of-17 extra-points ... 90 percent of his kickoffs went inside the opponents' five-yard line and 75 percent were into the end zone ... Long field goal of 40 yards ... Also had a 38-yard punting average ... Played soccer as a freshman in high school and was named Team MVP ... Went out for football as a sophomore and made the team going on to an outstanding career.
Personal: Armando Cuko ... Born May 2, 1987 in Albania Fier ... Son of Vllasi and Vjollca Cuko ... Came to the United States at 14 years old from Italy, as he had moved from Albania to Italy when he was 8 years old ... Has two older sisters Bedrana and Marjola ... Majoring in Communications.
Career Statistics (Kicking)
Year GP/GS FG-A PAT Pts Long 2005 11/11 6-13 27-32 45 41 2006 1/1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2008 12/12 6-8 45-46 63 44 2009 10/10 19-24 31-31 88 51 Totals 34/34 31-45 103-109 196 51
Long Field Goal: 51 at Delaware (10/10/09) 3rd in UM Hist. GW FGs: 42 at H. Cross (9/6/08); 41 vs. J. Madison (10/15/05) Field Goals: 3 six times, last vs. Northeastern (11/7/09) Points: 14 vs. Albany (9/12/09), Stony Brook (9/26/09) PATs: 7 at Rhode Island (11/1/08)