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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Cougars hire second defensive coach

(Photo courtesy of Cincinnati athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Cincinnati athletics)

Washington State hired its second and possibly final coach this offseason on Saturday, tabbing Roy Manning to coach the outside linebackers.

Manning comes to WSU from the University of Michigan where he spent last year as the cornerbacks after coaching the outside linebackers in 2013. Manning was a four-year letterman for the Wolverines from 2001-04 and then spent three seasons playing in the NFL before returning to UM as a graduate assistant.

He has also coached running backs at the University of Cincinnati in 2012.

The UM school website conducted an interview with Manning shortly after he was hired in 2013.

"In coaching, you have to know it all, and that's the one thing I've learned," Manning said in the video. "As a player, you focus on your position and what you have to do …  but in coaching, you've got to understand all of it, and sometimes your career will take you different places and you'll be in different roles."

He continued, "I think the important thing is to just embrace it, because it'll only make you better at the end of the day."

The hiring of Manning comes just three days after WSU announced the hiring of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. During an interview on Friday Grinch indicated that he would coach the secondary if the Cougars did not hire a defensive backs coach.

The two vacancies on the staff were due to the dismissals of defensive coordinator Mike Breske and outside linebackers coach Paul Volero shortly after WSU's season-ending Apple Cup loss.

The Cougars finished with a 3-9 record despite the country's seventh-ranked offense and ranked No. 123 out of 125 teams in turnover margin.

WSU coach Mike Leach also dismissed special teams coach Eric Russell midseason. While his replacement, Eric Mele, was dubbed the "interim special teams coordinator" indications appear to be that he will remain in the position.

Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated first reported the news late Saturday evening.

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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