It appears the Washington State Cougars have (finally) filled out their coaching staff, as a Bowling Green Daily News story indicates Mike Leach has reached way back into his coaching tree to hire Western Kentucky Hilltoppers assistant head coach and QBs coach Steve Spurrier Jr.
Spurrier is best known for coaching under his more famous father for 11 seasons with the South Carolina Gamecocks, but buried in his bio is his first full-time assistant coaching job: Wide receivers coach at Oklahoma in 1999.
The offensive coordinator? Mike Leach.
In his tenure at South Carolina, Spurrier held down a number of roles, including wide receivers coach, passing game coordinator, recruiting coordinator and co-offensive coordinator. Following his dad’s retirement in 2015, Spurrier moved on to an offensive analyst role with the Oklahoma Sooners in 2016. He then spent 2017 with the Hilltoppers.
Given all the angst surrounding the departures from Leach’s staff, it’s hard not to see this as a home run hire given Spurrier’s experience and pedigree.
It would make the most sense that Spurrier would step into the vacant outside receivers role, while also perhaps assisting to some degree with the quarterbacks — a yin to Leach’s QB coach yang that seems to have been been missing on the staff since the departures of David Yost and Graham Harrell.
Between the year under Leach in 1999 and the year in Oklahoma in 2016 with then-offensive coordinator/now-head coach Lincoln Riley, a Leach disciple — plus the fact that most everyone Air Raids to some degree now — Spurrier is going to be well positioned for a seamless transition. It wouldn’t be a shock if Spurrier even slides into Leach’s “eye in the sky” role that assists him with play calling on game days.
With this hire, it seems highly likely that Eric Mele shifts into the running backs coach position, which was vacated by Jim Mastro.
Nothing official has been announced for a few of these hires, but here are the changes this offseason, based on reports:
WSU Coaching Changes
|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|