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WSU extends contracts for Alex Grinch, Joe Salave’a; Leach contract rolls over

Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, cheering on quarterback Peyton Bender, has had his contract extended at WSU. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, cheering on quarterback Peyton Bender, has had his contract extended at WSU. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Washington State has extended the contracts of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and defensive line coach Joe Salave’a.

Grinch’s extension adds three years to his contract, keeping him in Pullman through the 2018 season. Salave’a’s extension is for two years. Furthermore, head coach Mike Leach and athletic director Bill Moos each agreed to exercise the annual rollover clause in Leach’s contract, keeping it at five years.

“Mike Leach and his entire staff have done a tremendous job in building our football program, and the goal is to keep moving forward,” said Moos in a press release. “Cougar football has returned to the upper echelon of collegiate football where it most deservedly belongs. I believe I speak for all Cougar fans when I say we want Mike Leach leading our football program for many years to come.”

Grinch’s potential as a defensive coordinator was unknown when the Cougars hired the former secondary coach out of Missouri. But the defense rapidly improved under Grinch, tripling the number of turnovers it forced in 2014 and holding opponents to nearly 11 fewer points per game.

Salave’a coached two All-Conference second team defensive linemen in seniors Darryl Paulo and Destiny Vaeao, and has been an important part of WSU’s recruiting strategy because of his ability to bring talented players from American Samoa and Hawaii to Pullman. Hawaiian defensive end Hercules Mata’afa, for example, was named a freshman All-American by USA Today.


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