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WSU Cougars Football

WSU has new defensive line coach

Thu., Feb. 10, 2011, 6:49 p.m.

PULLMAN – Washington State football coach Paul Wulff made another change to his coaching staff Thursday, hiring former UCLA associate head coach Todd Howard to coach the Cougars’ defensive line.

Howard replaces Malik Roberson, who came with Wulff from Eastern Washington. Roberson’s contract, which expires March 31, will not be renewed.

“Todd brings a great deal of experience to our program,” Wulff said via a press release. “He has coached at the highest levels of collegiate football while also serving on two different coaching staffs in the NFL.

“He has a lot of experience recruiting the Los Angeles area which was a priority for us and he has also coached All-Americans and numerous all-conference players.”

Last month Wulff, who is 5-32 in his three years at his alma mater, announced linebackers’ coach Travis Niekamp would take an administrative position and veteran Chris Tormey, a Gonzaga Prep and Idaho graduate, was hired to coach the linebackers.

In another move announced Thursday, assistant head coach Chris Ball was named WSU’s sole defensive coordinator. Jody Sears, who has been the co-defensive coordinator the past three years, will continue as cornerbacks coach.

Howard, who graduated from Texas A&M and played inside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, has coached five years in the NFL and 14 at the college level, including the last five at UCLA. He survived the changeover from Karl Dorrell to Rick Neuheisel three years ago and was named associate head coach along with his defensive line duties. But Neuheisel and the Bruins announced Thursday his contract would not be renewed.

The Cougars have been in the bottom 10 percent of NCAA FBS schools in yards allowed each of the last three seasons and in 2010 the Cougars 467 per game was fewer than only two schools.

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