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Tuesday, November 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Cougars hire Jeff Phelps to coach defensive line

PULLMAN – Let’s just say Jeff Phelps’ audition tape was both impressive and familiar.

Phelps was introduced on Friday night as the new defensive line coach at Washington State. He formerly held the same position at Minnesota, which recently beat the Cougars 17-12 in the Holiday Bowl.

He replaces Joe Salave’a, who left WSU after five seasons to take the same position at Oregon.

WSU coach Mike Leach was quoted in a press release, saying, “Jeff is a passionate football coach and a true technician of the game. He coaches with great energy, is a strong recruiter and brings with him a track record of being a part of great defenses.”

Phelps spent six seasons at Minnesota, where this past year the Golden Gophers ranked No. 12 nationally in tackles for loss, No. 14 in rushing yards allowed and No. 22 in sacks.

Four of his defensive linemen earned All-Big Ten honors, including Ra’Shede Hagemen, a 2014 second-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons. Prior to Minnesota, Phelps coached defensive linemen at Northern Illinois. There he coached Larry English, who was twice named the Mid-American Conference’s Most Valuable Player and was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft.

Phelps played his college ball at Ball State, where he was a second-team All-MAC player at outside linebacker during his senior season in 1997. He is originally from Chicago.

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