The son of a longtime coaching legend is reportedly on his way to the Palouse to join Mike Leach’s staff at Washington State.
Steve Spurrier Jr., whose father amassed 228 wins and just 89 losses in more than 25 years as an FBS head coach, has accepted a position with the Cougars, the Bowling Green Daily News first reported Wednesday afternoon.
A Spokesman-Review source said the two parties were “heading” toward a deal, though the school has yet to make an official announcement. According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, Spurrier Jr., who most recently worked as a quarterbacks coach at Western Kentucky, will replace Derek Sage as the Cougars’ outside wide receivers coach.
Sage became the fifth assistant coach to leave WSU when he accepted a job to coach the UCLA tight ends last week. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, running backs coach Jim Mastro, outside linebackers coach Roy Manning and offensive line coach Clay McGuire have all fled Pullman since the 2017 season ended.
But Leach has worked quickly to fill most of those spots. WSU has announced the hires of new DC Tracy Claeys, safeties coach Kendrick Shaver, in addition to the promotion of secondary coach Darcel McBath. Other reported additions are offensive line coach Mason Miller and special teams coordinator Matt Brock.
Spurrier Jr. is expected to be Leach’s final hire. The 24-year coaching veteran spent just one year with the Hilltoppers after coming to Bowling Green, Ky., from Oklahoma, where he was a recruiting and offensive specialist under one of Leach’s disciples, Sooners coach Lincoln Riley.
WSU and the Air Raid offense are a natural fit for Spurrier Jr., who over the last two seasons has worked closely with Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and WKU’s Mike White – the quarterbacks that respectively finished second and fourth in FBS passing yards last season.
While Spurrier Jr. was in Norman, Okla., the Sooners averaged 550 yards and 44 points per game. Former OU and current Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Dede Westbrook honed his skills with Spurrier Jr’s help, finishing fourth in 2016 Heisman Trophy voting.
Before Oklahoma, Spurrier Jr. was a longtime assistant for his father, Steve Spurrier, at the University of South Carolina. In his 11 seasons with the Gamecocks, Spurrier Jr. worked largely with wide receivers, also serving as a passing game coordinator, recruiting coordinator and co-offensive coordinator.
A former Duke wide receiver who played for the Blue Devils shortly after his father left Durham, N.C., to coach at Florida, Spurrier Jr. has also had stints with Arizona, Florida and the NF’s Washington Redskins.
He’s coached in 15 bowl games, including the Sugar, Orange, Cotton and Fiesta, and developed future NFL wideouts Alshon Jeffery, Sidney Rice and Kenny McKinley.
Spurrier Jr. and his wife, formerly Melissa Beauchamp, are the parents of triplets, Luke, Gavin and Emmaline; Nolan; twins, Palmer and Hayden, and McKinley.
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.