COUGARS • UPDATED: 6:15 P.M.
We talked with former Washington State running backs coach Steve Broussard and have a story for tomorrow's S-R on the link. Broussard made it clear the main motivation came because it gives him a chance to be closer to his family. Read on for the unedited version of our piece.
• Here is the unedited version of our story. UPDATE We got comments from coach Paul Wulff and added them. Also, there's a note on the bottom about a freshman football player getting in trouble over the weekend. ...
PULLMAN – Steve Broussard, one of the most prolific running backs in Washington State University history and the schools running backs coach for the past three years, has resigned to take a position under his former WSU coach, Dennis Erickson.
"I'm headed down to Arizona State," Broussard said in a phone interview Thursday, adding the change was motivated primarily by family issues.
Broussard said he will be coaching wide receivers at Arizona State, filling a role held until recently by former Idaho Vandal Eric Yarber, who took a position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.
ASU sports information director Mark Brand said via e-mail the school hasn't officially replaced Yarber and would have nothing to announce until the hire is approved by the ASU Human Resources Office.
Broussard played at WSU from 1986 to 1989, finishing his career as the Cougars second all-time leading rusher (3,054 yards), first in rushing touchdowns (33) and fifth on the career receiving list (120). He spent nine years in the NFL, including four with the Seattle Seahawks, where he played for Erickson.
After his NFL career ended, Broussard began coaching, starting as high school assistant in Southern California. He moved to the collegiate ranks in 2004 at Portland State as receivers coach.
Former WSU coach Bill Doba hired Broussard as the running backs coach just prior to the 2007 season. Under Paul Wulff the past two years, Broussard added the role of special teams coordinator to his running back duties.
"I wouldn't trade it for the world," Broussard said of his time in Pullman. "It was a great opportunity to go back to my alma mater, being able to influence and impress some kids, bring in some good kids and be around some good coaches, coach in the Pac-10. It was a great, great experience for me.
"Once a Coug, always a Coug."
That attitude made it tough, Broussard said, to accept the new position.
"At the same time I had to look at the big picture and all the factors involved," he said. "That made it a little bit easier, because it is always difficult when you are leaving a situation that is a full circle. I started there and came back and coached there."
Broussard said the move to Arizona State puts him closer to his children, who live in Los Angeles. It happened quickly, over the past week. After making his decision, he said he called the most recent recruits and let them know he won't be in Pullman when they get there.
"It was a tough situation," he said. "It always is when you start building relationships and then you part from them."
WSU coach Paul Wulff said the Cougars are just beginning a search for Broussard's replacement. Broussard's most recent contract paid $110,000.
"He did a great job," Wulff said of Broussard, before talking about how he would cover his duties with a new coach.
"I'm mulling that over," Wulff said, "whether to split the special team duties among the staff or bring in someone who has a tremendous amount of experience in special teams.
"Special teams are important and if there is someone out there who can really help in that area, we may go that way."
Former Idaho receiver and WSU assistant coach Kasey Dunn, who worked under Mike Price from 1998 to 2002, may be a candidate.
Dunn spent the last two seasons as the Seahawks' running backs coach. He has coached running backs at WSU and the University of Arizona.
• Defensive lineman Jordan Pu'u-Robinson was arrested for fourth-degree assault Saturday night after what a Pullman police report described as a fight.
Pu'u-Robinson, a freshman from Hawaii, redshirted last season. He has been suspended from team activities while Wulff investigates the incident, a school spokesman said.
Fourth-degree assault is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
• That's all for now. We'll back sometime around the basketball game. Until then ...