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HCA: New WSU DC Claeys has nightmares about bad defense

Hey look! Something other than the crushing depression stemming from the basketball program. Cool!

NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Minnesota vs Washington State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Spring camp is three practices old in Pullman, and so is Tracy Claey’s tenure as defensive coordinator in Pullman.

Claeys led Minnesota into the 2016 Holiday Bowl against Washington State in a game where the Gopher defense absolutely dominated the Cougs. Minnesota allowed just 12 points, including a garbage time touchdown, and let the Cougars over the 50 yard line just twice.

But other than that game, which most Coug have blocked out of their memories, WSU fans might not know much about their new DC. On Tuesday, Theo Lawson of the Spokesman Review profiled Claeys and included an interesting tidbit about his personality.

“I have a fear of not being able to stop anybody,” Claeys said. “I’ve had that since I started being a d-coordinator and some people say you shouldn’t motivate yourself that way, but I do... I have nightmares about not being able to stop people and that’s kind of what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going.”

Coaching at a level as high as the Pac-12 has to be stressful, but I don’t know if I’ve ever hear of anyone being motivated by their nightmares. Whatever works, I guess.

The profile is well worth a read and also touches on Claeys’ coaching philosophy. With every coordinator change comes a whole new playbook, but Claeys is doing things differently this time, incorporating some of Alex Grinch’s terminology into his philosophy, in essence, he’s meeting players halfway. “It’s gone good for the kinds and not for me,” Claeys told Lawson. “I do scripts and things for practice and so I’ve definitely written down the wrong call a few times now. Good thing is coach (Ken) WIlson and guys in the secondary have caught on... I still think it’s the best thing to do.

Claeys is in for an adjustment, and so are the players. He has a much quieter coaching style than Grinch, but it looks like everything is flowing just fine so far.

For more on Claeys, check out Lawson’s profile here.

As for the rest of practice, Mike Leach summed it all up in one 1-second video.

WSU Spring Camp

WSU Spring Ball Recap 3.27 - YouTube
A video recap of Tuesday's practice from the WSU Athletics Youtube page. They also posted interviews with Jalen Thompson and James Williams here, as well as an interview with Mike Leach here and an interview with Claeys here.

New Washington State DC Tracy Claeys has ‘nightmares’ about not being able to stop people | The Spokesman-Review
Tracy Claeys may not even need to dial up a three-and-out to win over his first crop of Washington State football fans.

Washington State “Basketball”

Washington State point guard Malachi Flynn announces transfer from Cougars | The Spokesman-Review
Ernie Kent’s Washington State basketball program will now march forward without both of its top scorers from the 2017-18 season.