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Ex-Vandal joins Arkansas staff

College football: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema says University of Washington running backs coach Joel Thomas will join the Razorbacks in the same position.

Thomas has spent the past four seasons at Washington and has previously coached running backs at Purdue, Louisville and Idaho. He was a star running back for the Vandals (1995-98) and remains Idaho’s career leader with 3,929 career rushing yards. 

Bielema says Thomas’ background in recruiting – particularly in Texas – is a strong draw for the Razorbacks. Thomas has also worked under new Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

Thomas coached the Huskies’ running backs in Saturday’s loss to Boise State in the MAACO Bowl. In the loss, Washington running back Bishop Sankey recorded 205 rushing yards and was named the bowl’s most valuable player.

Thomas replaces running backs coach Tim Horton as Bielema hand-picks his staff for next season.

WSU’s Galdeira honored again

College basketball: Washington State guard Lia Galdeira has been named Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week for the second consecutive week.

Galdeira earned the honor after leading the Cougars in scoring in road games against No. 14 Louisville and Syracuse.

Galdeira, from Kamuela, Hawaii, scored 13 points and made three steals at Louisville before scoring 16 points – including two 3-pointers – and grabbing a team-best six rebounds at Syracuse.

Galdeira has led WSU in scoring six times this season, including the last three games.

She leads the team with a scoring average of at 14.9 points per game and is second in the Pac-12 with 32 steals.

Washington State plays at Gonzaga Saturday at 2 p.m. SWX will televise the game.