PULLMAN – Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is a potential candidate to join Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State, FootballScoop reported Friday morning.
Sources told the website Grinch would not replace an existing staff member, but rather serve as the Buckeyes’ 10th assistant coach. Starting on Jan. 9, the NCAA is permitting all FBS programs to add one coaching position to their current staff. Grinch is an Ohio native who played college football at Division III Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio.
The Cougars became one of the nation’s best defenses in year No. 3 under Grinch, holding opponents to just 313.6 yards per game – good enough for 15th in the FBS – while ranking sixth in the nation with 27 turnovers and seventh in tackles-for-loss per game (8.2).
Therefore, it’s no surprise WSU’s DC has become a hot commodity since the regular season ended in late November.
Grinch’s name has also been tossed around in relation to defensive coordinator openings at Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida and Arkansas. 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard said on Wednesday the WSU DC “is weighing multiple job offers” and would be surprised if Grinch was back in Pullman for the 2018 football season.
Asked if he had any reason to believe Grinch wouldn’t be with the team for the Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl, or next season, Cougars coach Mike Leach said “not really.”
“The biggest thing is anytime you have success, there’s going to be rumors like that,” Leach said Friday. “If we were bad at some position, then they would suggest someone might get fired. And then if you’re really good at some position, then they suggest he’s going to go somewhere else. So one way or the other, they’re on one of two lists.”
Grinch was not made available to reporters following the team’s bowl practices on Thursday and Friday.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg recently reported that Grinch “is very much in demand” and that he “could be on the move after the Cougars’ bowl game.” Rittenberg also wrote: “While he’s been mentioned for SEC openings, Grinch is an Ohio native who may end up back in the Midwest. It’s unlikely WSU, which I’ve heard is reducing its football spending, could match some of the offers Grinch will receive.”
A USA Today salary database shows that Grinch is being paid an annual base salary of $600,000, with max bonuses no higher than $125,000. That makes him the 10th highest-paid assistant coach in the Pac-12 Conference, but those earnings are only good enough for 67th in the FBS.
WSU President tweeted Thursday that the school is “committed to putting the financial resources in place to ensure continued success for (WSU) – including enhancing our salary pool for our coaching staff. The only way we can continue our positive trend is for Cougs to stop worrying and contribute to Cougar Athletic Fund.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Cougs newsletter
Get the latest Cougs headlines delivered to your inbox as they happen.