Washington State head coach Jake Dickert announced the official addition of four new coaches and a chief of staff on Monday. While most had already been known, this announcement makes everything official. Mark Atuaia, Joel Filani, Pete Kaligis, Clay McGuire, and Brent Vernon are those announced to officially join (or rejoin) the football program.
Taking the role of coaching the running backs is Mark Atuaia who comes to Pullman after being on the Virginia coaching staff for the past six seasons. Prior to his time in Charlottesville, he spent three seasons at BYU under Bronco Mendenhall.
He also has an electric family that seems to be very excited to be coming to the Palouse and joining the Coug family. Atuaia tweeted out this video Monday afternoon.
WASHINGTON STATE FOOTBALL brought me back west so y’all know how we finna do #GoCougs I’m baaaaack— Mark Atuaia (@CoachAtuaia) January 4, 2022
PSAs - #Wa22u is the spot - no doubt! Come see why my Atuaia fambam is so excited. You, your family, and us @WSUCougarFB @WSU_FBRecruits let’s get #LooseInPalouse pic.twitter.com/MFO2Rggib7
Pete Kaligis will reunite with Dickert after spending the past 13 years at Wyoming. He will take over the role as assistant head coach and defensive tackles coach. He worked on the offensive side of the ball from 2009 until 2014 when he switched over to the defensive side of the ball and coached the defensive line.
Prior to his time in Laramie, he was the offensive line coach at Montana and the strength and conditioning coach at Washington. His first coaching job came at Western Washington working with the tight ends. Kaligis comes to the program as one of the most experienced coaches on staff having worked with tons of different position groups during his coaching tenure.
Two familiar faces will return to Pullman next season with receiver coach, Joel Filani, and offensive line coach, Clay McGuire. Filani returns to Pullman after spending the last three years at Texas Tech as the outside receivers coach. He began his coaching career at Washington State under Mike Leach in 2015 as an offensive quality control coach before being hired on by North Texas in 2016.
McGuire takes back his role as offensive line coach that he had from 2012 to 2017 under Leach. He left Pullman for the offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Texas Tech under Kliff Kingsbury where he spent one year. He then joined the Texas State program where he coached the offensive line for two years. Last season he was the offensive line coach at USC.
Brent Vernon was the lone non-assistant to be officially announced on Monday. He will take over the role as the football chief of staff after spending the past 13 years at Wyoming. During his time in Wyoming he held the roles as executive assistant to the head coach, director of recruiting, assistant director of football operations, and associate A.D. for football operations.
Washington State University Head Football Coach Jake Dickert announced Monday the additions of assistant coaches Mark Atuaia (running backs), Joel Filani (wide receivers), Pete Kaligis (assistant head coach/defensive tackles), Clay McGuire (offensive line) and Brent Vernon (football chief of staff) to the Cougars’ coaching staff.
Washington State’s football program announced previously reported additions to its sideline Monday, officially introducing four new Cougar assistants and a chief of staff.
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