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Former Mike Leach quarterback, Graham Harrell, will coach receivers for WSU

As a senior at Texas Tech, Graham Harrell led the country with 5,111 passing yards and 45 touchdowns. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)
As a senior at Texas Tech, Graham Harrell led the country with 5,111 passing yards and 45 touchdowns. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

PULLMAN — Less than a year after joining the Washington State football program as an offensive analyst, Graham Harrell is the Cougars’ new outside receivers coach. Mike Leach announced on Thursday that Harrell would fill the assistant coaching position vacated when Dennis Simmons took a coaching position at Oklahoma.

“Graham Harrell is a tremendous young coach and uniquely qualified to fill the role of outside receivers coach at Washington State,” said Leach in a statement. “He has command of the offense from all aspects, is a great teacher and evaluator of talent, and will be a great addition to our staff.”

The 29-year-old Harrell joined the WSU staff last April to help with game planning and player evaluations. The Cougars will have a very different – and decidedly younger – coaching staff in 2015 than the one standing on the sidelines at the beginning of the 2014 season.

In addition to Harrell, the Cougars have also hired defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, outside linebackers coach Roy Manning and special teams coordinator Eric Mele. All of those coaches are in their mid-30s or younger.

Like Harrell, Mele held a non-coaching role with the team before he was promoted following the midseason dismissal of Eric Russell last year.

Few have a better understanding of Leach’s Air Raid offense than Harrell, who threw for an NCAA-record 134 touchdowns at Texas Tech, where he played for Leach from 2004-08.

As a senior Harrell was named a First-Team All-American and the AT&T All-America Player of the Year after leading the country with 5,111 passing yards and 45 touchdowns.

He then played one year in the Canadian Football League and spent three years as a backup quarterback with the Green Bay Packers, earning a Super Bowl ring in 2010.

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