It’s been widely reported and written about (including here), but WSU made it official yesterday with the hiring of new offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle and defensive ends coach Frank Maile. WSU still has not yet hired a defensive coordinator. More on that in a bit.
But first, Arbuckle and Maile. From WSU’s release:
Prior to the 2022 season, Arbuckle spent the 2021 campaign at Western Kentucky in an offensive quality control role, assisting an offense that led the nation in passing (433.7 ypg), finished second in total offense (353.3 ypg) and second in scoring at 44.2 ppg. Arbuckle helped mentor Bailey Zappe who broke NCAA FBS records for both passing yards and passing touchdowns in a single season with 5,967 and 62, respectively.
Coug fans yearning for good old days the days of the Air Raid are salivating right now reading that. It’s quite impressive, and if Arbuckle’s offense in Pullman can create similar numbers, we could have an exciting team.
Arbuckle is just 27 years old and will turn 28 in September. As Mark pointed out behind the scenes, he’s just two years older than Renard Bell. This will be his first job owning the offense at the college level. Just two seasons ago, he was coaching the offense and quarterbacks AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL. He then was an offensive quality control coach before sharing offensive coordinator duties while coaching the quarterbacks for a year at Western Kentucky. Heck of a career jump. He’s climbing the latter faster than most, but hey, he deserves a shot.
Maile comes to WSU from Boise State where he coached the defensive line and was the assistant head coach for two seasons. The Boise State defense finished 9th in the nation in total defense and 16th in scoring defense.
Maile also has experience at Utah State and Vanderbilt.
As for the team’s defensive coordinator, Dickert had indicated the coaching staff would be filled out by Jan. 8. There was a report (behind a paywall) that South Dakota State defensive coordinator Jimmy Rogers could be the guy. The Jackrabbits are playing in the FCS title game tomorrow, which is Jan. 8. So! That timeline Dickert laid out would make sense.
However, another report (also behind a paywall) indicated the plans have changed. So who the heck knows what’s going on. WSU is still without a defensive coordinator, so feel free to send in your resume.
In other coaching news.....
Running backs coach Mark Atuaia says he had offers to leave Pullman but said thanks but no thanks. Of course, in true Atuaia family fashion, he let everyone know with some dope beats (did I do that right, kids?):
Since Nov, I’ve had a few job offers; history shows Pullman as transient. I also know the battles we face with the “new normal” in CF— Mark Atuaia (@CoachAtuaia) January 6, 2023
HOWEVER@CoachDickert wholeheartedly believes in #FamilyOverFlash thus, #FREESTYLEFRIDAY displays our family’s feelings exactly #AtuaiaDUMDUMS pic.twitter.com/GOOt2oIjTa
Here’s your reminder that Atuaia is married to the former Elizabeth Wolfgramm, a member of The Jets.