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Report: Derek Sage leaving for UCLA

Derek Sage WSU Athletic Communications

Washington State Cougars outside receivers coach Derek Sage has reportedly agreed to an assistant coach position with the UCLA Bruins, according to, making him the sixth defection from Mike Leach’s staff this offseason.

If you’re bad at math, that means less than half of WSU’s nine assistant coaches from 2017 have remained. Additionally, the head strength coach has left.

Sage spent just one year on the WSU staff, having joined up last offseason following the departure of JaMarcus Shepard — himself only in Pullman for a year. The receivers coaches have been a bit of a revolving door the last few years.

In addition to this likely being a step up for Sage because it’s at a school with greater tradition, deeper pockets and better location, Sage also is reunited with Chip Kelly, under whom he coached at the University of New Hampshire. There are worse places to land.

With that, Leach is back to having to find two more coaches — Sage’s replacement, and a new head strength and conditioning coach. There are two positions to be filled on offense: running backs and outside receivers. Expect Eric Mele, the current special teams coordinator who has been displaced by the hire of Matt Brock, to take one of those spots.

WSU Coaching Changes

Out To In From
Out To In From
Alex Grinch (defensive coordinator) Ohio State Tracy Claeys (defensive coordinator) Unemployed
Roy Manning (outside linebackers) UCLA Matt Brock (outside linebackers/special teams) Bowling Green
Clay McGuire (offensive line) Texas Tech Mason Miller (offensive line) Nevada
Derek Sage (outside receivers) UCLA Steve Spurrier Jr. (outside receivers) Western Kentucky
Jim Mastro (running backs) Oregon Darcel McBath (corners) WSU (promotion)
Jason Loscalzo (strength and conditioning) Chicago Bears Tyson Brown (strength and conditioning) WSU (promotion)
Kendrick Shaver (safeties) Utah State