With Alex Grinch in place as the defensive coordinator, Washington State continued to fill out its coaching staff with word that former Michigan assistant Roy Manning will be coming to Pullman as an outside linebacker coach, according to Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated.
The move is a significant one for the Cougars. Manning is a very well-regarded recruiter and had a lot of success bringing highly-touted players to Michigan. Now doing that at WSU is another story, but Manning comes with an impressive recruiting resume and was well liked by Michigan fans, despite being on a staff that bottomed out. Here is a sampling from a quick Twitter search.
Sign me up for some of that. Like Grinch, the 33-year-old Manning is on the younger side. But, he does have a decent amount of experience already. He played linebacker at Michigan before spending three seasons in the NFL. He got his start in coaching at Cincinnati before being a graduate assistant at Michigan. He went back to Cincinnati as a running back coach for a year, then to Northern Illinois as a running back coach for another season. He joined Michigan as an outside linebacker coach in 2013 then coached cornerbacks in 2014. He'll shift back to linebackers with WSU, a position he should know well. He'll join Ken Wilson as another energetic coach and good recruiter. With Manning, Wilson and Joe Salave'a the Cougars have the makings of an excellent recruiting staff on the defensive side. If Grinch is able to continue the success he had recruiting at Missouri, this could be the best recruiting staff WSU has had in a long time. Manning may be able to pay immediate dividends as he recruited 4-star CB Marcus Lewis, who has WSU among his final suitors.
There is also the matter of coaching. While Manning only has a season of linebacker coaching experience, he played the position at a high level. Based simply on his credentials on paper and recruiting resume, Manning should be a significant upgrade for the Cougars.
We still don't know the terms of his deal with WSU. As Britton Ransford pointed out, Manning made $248,200 at Michigan last season. It doesn't appear he was going to have a spot on the Michigan staff, so WSU didn't necessarily have to outbid that number.
You can see Manning in action, with a mic'd up video from Manning's time with the Wolverines.