Is Bodie Reeder ready to be the next offensive coordinator at Eastern Washington? Time will tell.
He’s certainly prepared for the season opener at Texas Tech, where two years ago he inhabited the same press box he’ll inhabit on Sept. 2.
As assistant quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma State in 2015, Reeder was the right-hand man for offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich during a memorable Big 12 game in Lubbock.
Final score: OSU 70, Texas Tech 53, with 1,304 yards of offense. Twice the Cowboys rallied from three-score deficits.
“It was a wild one,” said Reeder, who could say the same thing about the last eight months of his life.
Married last December and hired as EWU quarterbacks coach two months later, the 30-year-old former quarterback was promoted to coordinator soon after the midsummer resignation of Fred Salanoa.
Now Reeder will follow in the footsteps of former coach Beau Baldwin and Troy Taylor, who recently parlayed the Eagles’ success into OC jobs in the Pac-12.
Yes, Reeder is learning from the best, even it’s by proxy: He’s watched film of every Eastern game back to 2014, home and away, regular season and playoffs.
He also has a pedigree from OSU, where he credits Yurcich and head coach Mike Gundy with a lot of forward thinking.
“They’ve always been on the cutting edge, saying that if you don’t evolve, you die, so don’t be stuck in your ways,” Reeder said
The Eagles are evolving, too. Reeder is upbeat about moving the chains, even if the Eagles lean more on the ground game to do it.
“Are we still going to be a pass-heavy team? Yes, but we’re going to be running the ball downhill,” Reeder said.
Reeder said the Eastern offense will be “multiple, with timely shots, timely wrinkles and hard to predict.”
He certainly has the tools, starting with record-setting quarterback Gage Gubrud.
“He’s very motivated and not resting on his laurels,” said Reeder, who’s not too proud to admit that he leaned on Gubrud during the spring to get up to speed on the Eagles’ offense.
Now Reeder is returning the favor. He’s far more vocal during practice than Baldwin.
Reeder is a “fiery gentleman,” said coach Aaron Best, who noted that Gubrud has “truly embraced” the change in temperament from past seasons.
Gubrud has aided the process by pushing the wide receivers “to great expectations,” said Reeder, who’s set some high expectations for himself.
Reeder began his college career at Wyoming, then transferred to Eastern Illinois where he threw for 3,741 yards and 23 touchdowns in 30 games.
He coached in 2010 and 2011 as a graduate assistant at Eastern Illinois and later was offensive coordinator at Division II Wisconsin-Stout before moving to Oklahoma State in 2014.
Last year’s OSU team was ninth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in passing offense (323.9 per game) and 17th in scoring (38.6 per game).
More important, the Cowboys also went 10-3 while playing in the rugged Big 12 and in the shadow of the Oklahoma Sooners.
The wide-open offense, the underdog mentality, even the wheat fields – perhaps it’s not that far from Stillwater, Oklahoma, to Cheney.
Warming to the subject, Reeder said Cheney is better off than Stillwater, which is an hour-plus from Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
“From Cheney, you can always go to Spokane,” said Reeder, whose wife Ashley has relatives in Spokane Valley.
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