Good morning, Coug fans!
Murmurs of a new defensive coordinator for your Washington State Cougars began yesterday after an exciting tweet from Jake Dickert, below, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
It was initially reported by our familiar friend Pete Thamel!
Sources: Washington State is finalizing a deal to make Jeff Schmedding the school’s new defensive coordinator. He’s the former DC at Auburn and has coordinated at Boise State and Eastern Washington.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 8, 2023
So- who is Jeff Schmedding?
Let’s address the elephant, or rather, tiger in the room! Schmedding heads up from Auburn University back to familiar territory, as he's spent time at both Eastern Washington and Boise State.
Schmedding is set to replace Brian Ward, who left back in December. It’s safe to say this has been a highly anticipated hiring announcement.
Born in Spokane, this is truly a coming home moment for Schmedding. He began his coaching career at Eastern Washington in 2004, where he started as a graduate assistant, but would eventually pass through coaching positions ranging from special teams, linebackers, and safeties before taking over as DC in 2015. He spent four years in that role before being hired by Bryan Harsin over at Boise State, and the pair would eventually head to Auburn together, where Schmedding coached linebackers.
However, that didn’t exactly last long. Schmedding went on to take over as DC after Derek Mason left Auburn’s program. He then briefly served as assistant head coach, but after Auburn’s new head coach Hugh Freeze (which does not feel like a real name) got hired, it was announced Schmedding would not be retained. Their loss is our gain!
His most notable stats come from Boise State’s 2019 season. He and Frank Maile didn’t overlap there, but it’s always nice to have something in common with your coworkers! In 2019, Boise State ranked 15th nationally in sacks (37, to be exact), and ranked in the top 25 for defensive scoring, with 20.6 points per game. Under Schmedding, Boise State had a Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in Curtis Weaver, who was fifth nationally in sacks with 13.5, 34 in his career. Weaver’s career sacks are a Mountain West record, and he was drafted to the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round.
At Eastern Wasington, Schmedding’s lengthy career included winning the FCS Championship in 2010, an appearance in the same game in 2018, 10 FCS playoff games, and in 2018 specifically, EWU ranked first in defensive touchdowns and second in turnovers.
Schmedding strikes me as a very loyal guy. 15 seasons at EWU, and stuck by Bryan Harsin, he could be a really excellent grab for the program! Our defense had dynamic moments this past season, and the missing piece could be this new hire. Let’s give him a warm welcome- Go Cougs!