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Sports >  WSU football

Longtime Washington State Director of Football Operations Antonio Huffman leaving Cougars for Texas Tech

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 3, 2019

Washington State  head coach Mike Leach leaves the field  after an October 2017 game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. WSU won 33-10. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State head coach Mike Leach leaves the field after an October 2017 game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. WSU won 33-10. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – An integral member of Mike Leach’s Washington State staff is leaving the Cougars and moving up in the coaching ranks.

Antonio Huffman, WSU’s Director of Football Operations for the last seven years, accepted a position to serve as the new chief of staff at Texas Tech under first-year coach Matt Wells, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal first reported Thursday.

The former Red Raiders cornerback was a three-year starter for Leach at Tech and returns to his alma mater more than 10 years after his playing career ended.

Formerly the head coach at Utah State, Wells was hired by Texas Tech on Nov. 29, replacing another Leach pupil, Kliff Kingsbury.

Huffman arrived in Pullman with Leach when the WSU coach was hired in 2012. Before his departure, he was one of two remaining members from Leach’s original staff. The other is Dave Emerick, who was Leach’s chief of staff for two years in Lubbock and has held the position in Pullman for seven years.

At WSU, where he’s also held an assistant athletic director title for three years, Huffman was responsible for monitoring the day-to-day operations of the football staff. His role included acting as the liaison for compliance, academics and student conduct, in addition to overseeing all aspects of team travel, the Cougars guest coach program and directing WSU football camps and clinics.

In January, when WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski shot and killed himself in an off-campus apartment, Huffman was the one who sent teammates to search for Hilinski. He also called the player’s family to alert them Hilinski was missing and made a second call to inform them of the QB’s death.

Before his stint at WSU, Huffman spent two seasons in a similar role at East Carolina under coach Ruffin McNeill. He also logged two seasons at Tech as the director of player personnel.

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