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WSU football coach Mike Leach working from short list to find defensive coordinator

Athletic director Bill Moos says Cougars will waste little time. (Associated Press)
Athletic director Bill Moos says Cougars will waste little time. (Associated Press)

PULLMAN – Washington State football coach Mike Leach is in the market for a new defensive coordinator and finding one may not require a lengthy search, according to athletic director Bill Moos.

The Cougars have two openings on the defensive staff because defensive coordinator Mike Breske and outside linebackers coach Paul Volero were dismissed on Sunday. WSU finished the season with a 3-9 record and ranked No. 115 out of 125 teams nationally in scoring defense, allowing 38.6 points per game.

Speaking on his weekly Cougar Calls radio show with Bud Nameck on KXLY 920, Moos said that Leach has a short list of about six potential candidates and that he expects the Cougars to have a new defensive coordinator soon.

Such swiftness in the hire could indicate that the top choices are not currently coaching in the college ranks, or at least not for a team that will be playing in a bowl game, which don’t start until Dec. 20.

That doesn’t mean the Cougars won’t be able to land a big name coach. Pac-12 TV money and the prospect of total autonomy on the defensive side could entice a proven coordinator to WSU, according to Scott Roussel, whose website,, is frequently the first to report the hirings and firings of coaches due to Roussel’s relationships in the coaching community.

“I don’t know how many coaches really give total defensive control to the coordinator,” Roussel said. “I’d say maybe 20, and Leach is one of them, so it’d be pretty exciting for a defensive coordinator, I would think.”

Breske’s final salary of $376,500 was competitive with other Pac-12 coordinator salaries.

With that in mind, here are some defensive coaching candidates who might be good fits with the Cougars:

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