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A Christmas list for WSU coaches, administrators and programs

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Merry Christmas Eve Eve to you and yours. Things are somewhat comfortably setting into place, what with the men’s and women’s non-conference basketball schedules finishing, the agreement with the West Coast Conference finalized, and a settlement reached with the ten departing Pac-12 members.

Just in time for Christmas.

Speaking of, we’re doing something that is exactly what a blog would do this time of year: The cliched Christmas lists. With just two days until Santa arrives, here’s what the North Pole is working to deliver to some WSU coaches, administrators and programs on Monday.

Jake Dickert

A capable offensive line.

Konner Gomness and Ma’ake Fifita and off to start their post-college lives, and Dickert and co. will need to fill those holes on an already tenuous offensive line that couldn’t generate a run game this past season and often sent now-departing Cam Ward running for his life. Dickert signed four offensive lineman this week, but all of them are coming from the high school ranks, so expecting them to step in immediately and make an impact as true freshman might be wishful thinking.

So let’s hope Santa and his elves can deliver someone who can step in immediately between now and next summer, or else John Mateer, the presumed starter heading into next season, might be in trouble.

Pat Chun

Um, some peace and quiet?

It wasn’t that long ago that Chun’s name was popping up in news articles as a short list candidate for vacant athletic director positions across the country. That’s cooled down in the last year or two for one reason or another. Chun’s last few years haven’t been easy: a pandemic that forced his athletic teams to play in empty stadiums and arenas, and thus lose a ton of valuable revenue, the Nick Rolovich situation, his run-in with that Pullman insurance agent, an accounting screwup that screwed the athletic department, and then of course the collapse of the Pac-12.

Chun’s not the only athletic director dealing with crap these days, but could Santa give him some normalcy, just for a few weeks?

Volleyball

A head coach who can sustain the program’s unprecedented run of success.

Seeing Jen Greeny bid farewell to WSU and Pullman this week was a kick to the stomach. She’s perhaps the greatest hire in the history of WSU athletics based on success. She leaves after the greatest finish for WSU since 2002, an apparently this isn’t the first time West Virginia has come calling.

Greeny’s decision makes sense given the state of the Pac-12. She even told The Spokesman-Review as much:

“Just the state of the conference situation and the uncertainty and not having answers, I think it’s the perfect storm and I’m excited to have this opportunity,” said Greeny, prior to news breaking that WSU is expected to join the West Coast Conference in most nonfootball sports for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons. “You can’t recruit to something you don’t know what’s happening.

“That’s the question everyone asks. When you don’t have answers as a young person, it makes it very tough. I don’t blame those recruits.”

Let’s hope Jen Greeny 2.0 is under the tree Monday morning, or soon thereafter.

Track and field, swimming and baseball

A conference to play in next season.

Initial reports of the WSU’s agreement with the West Coast Conference indicated all but football and baseball would be joining the league as an affiliate member. It turns out you can add track and field and swimming to the list with baseball.

Those programs need a league, and the WCC doesn’t officially sponsor swimming or track. It does sponsor baseball, and I have no idea why baseball was left out.

So Santa’s shop at the North Pole may need to work overtime to fulfill these programs’ wishes.

Kamie Ethridge

A do-over against Washington.

Good news! WSU gets that do-over on Jan. 14 when they travel to Seattle to visit the Huskies. The first matchup stung, as WSU started incredibly cold and fell down 10-2 after one quarter and gave up 27 points in the second quarter and went into the locker room down 37-17. They did all they could to claw back in the second half, but ultimately fell 60-55 at home.

If WSU is on the bubble come March, this game might be the one that got away. So Santa may need to leave a little energy boost in the stockings of this team ahead of the Jan. 14 showdown.


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Now, enjoy my favorite Christmas tune, courtesy of The Dropkick Murphy’s: