Ever since Jason Gesser hung up his Crimson and Gray cleats, Washington State football fans have wished that once again they could watch the former Cougars quarterback every Saturday.
That’s not going to happen because Gesser exhausted his eligibility more than a decade ago. But at least the fans will be able to hear him.
Gesser, who led Washington State to the 2003 Rose Bowl, has been added to the Cougar football broadcast team, it was announced Friday by WSU IMG College General Manager Matt Almond.
“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 analyst in the fall of 2012.
“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 jelled.”
Gesser is a graduate of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communications. After an all-state high school career in Hawaii, 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.
“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, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League, he got into coaching, first at the high school level and working his way into the college ranks.
From 2011-12, Gesser served as running backs coach and then offensive coordinator at Idaho. He was interim head coach for four games after Robb Akey was fired.
He was hired as the quarterbacks coach at Wyoming in 2013. However, the Cowboys coaching staff was let go following the firing of head coach Dave Christensen.
Gesser says that his focus is now on broadcasting.
“I love coaching and helping kids out, I love being a part of the whole process that involves being a coach,” Gesser said. “But I turned down a couple (FCS) 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.”