Former WSU quarterback Jason Gesser, who led Washington State to the 2003 Rose Bowl, has been added to the Cougar football broadcast team, according to a Friday announcement by WSU IMG College General Manager Matt Almond. Gesser replaces Shawn McWashington, who also donned the Crimson and Gray in a Rose Bowl as a receiver on the 1997 team.
He'll join Bob Robertson, Bud Nameck and sideline reporter Jessamyn McIntyre.
More on the radio shakeup, after the jump.
“To be working here now and be able to show my love for it is awesome,” Gesser said. “Anytime I can put the Crimson and Gray back on in any capacity it's a blessing so it really is something that we had not expected but at the same time a great blessing.”
He replaces Shawn McWashington, who also donned the Crimson and Gray in a Rose Bowl as a receiver on the 1997 team. Gesser will provide analysis alongside Bob Robertson, play-by-play man Bud Nameck and sideline reporter Jessamyn McIntyre.
McWashington joined IMG as a radio color analyst in the fall of 2012 and is also a vice president at Marsh USA, an insurance broker and risk adviser.
“We typically do an evaluation each year of our personnel and our content quality and things like that,” Almond said. “After doing the evaluation I think our chemistry on the team – like with any team coaches try to pull and plug personnel to get the right chemistry and the right fit – and I didn't think our broadcast had completely gelled.”
Gesser is a graduate of WSU's Edward R. Murrow College of Communications. After an All-State high school career in Hawai'I, Gesser established himself as one of the most popular players in WSU's history.
Almond said getting Gesser's name on the broadcast was, ” almost too good of an opportunity for us to pass up.”
He was elected team captain three consecutive years and has the most wins of any quarterback in school history. He also finished seventh in the 2002 Heisman Trophy voting after throwing for 3,408 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Nameck and Robertson, who have broadcasted WSU sports since 1981 and 1964, respectively, told the story of his career.
“It's exciting but that's what is kind of hard about today, too, is that I covered Shawn McWashington when he was playing as well,” Nameck said. “I've known both of them for a long time and was excited to work with Shawn and I'm equally excited to have the opportunity to work with Jason now.”
Gesser, the 2002 Pac-10 co-offensive MVP, led WSU to back-to-back 10 win seasons as an upperclassman. After professional stints in the NFL, CFL and AFL he got into coaching, taking over as the quarterbacks coach at Federal Way high school, and working his way into the college ranks.
He was hired as the quarterback coach at Wyoming in 2013, but the Cowboys coaching staff was let go following the firing of head coach Dave Christensen. However, Gesser says that his focus is now broadcasting and does not plan to pursue coaching openings.
” Coaching is never going to die, it's always going to be a part of me. It's who I am, it's how I was built,” Gesser said. “I love coaching and helping kids out, I love being a part of the whole process that involves being a coach.
“But I turned down a couple (Football Championship Subdivision) jobs because it wasn't the right time for me and my family. I want to set roots here in Pullman. I'll never say coaching is out but I won't be pursuing it right now. I haven't pursued it for months. It would have to be the perfect, ideal job for me to get back into it.”
As a frequent visitor at WSU's spring practices, Gesser already has established relationships with many of the coaches and players. As a fulltime Pullman resident, Gesser will likely provide additional content that has not existed in the past, such as weekly podcasts, according to Almond.