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Sports >  WSU football

Washington State OC Brian Smith reportedly interviews for Idaho State job; former Cougar assistant Ken Wilson hired at Nevada

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 10, 2021

Washington State offensive coordinator Brian Smith speaks with players before the team's Pac-12 game against Stanford on Oct. 16 in Pullman.  (Associated Press)
Washington State offensive coordinator Brian Smith speaks with players before the team's Pac-12 game against Stanford on Oct. 16 in Pullman. (Associated Press)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

Washington State offensive coordinator Brian Smith is reportedly searching for his next destination.

Smith, a second-year Cougars coach, was one of three finalists for the head coaching position at FCS Idaho State, according to Footballscoop.com.

The Bengals’ program announced Friday that it would instead be hiring Charlie Ragle – Cal’s special teams coordinator over the past five seasons. Ragle replaces Rob Phenicie, who was fired last month after compiling a 16-35 record across five years at ISU.

Though not official, it’s presumed that Smith will be coaching his final game for the Cougars when they meet Miami in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas.

First-year WSU coach Jake Dickert hired a new OC this week in Eric Morris, who’ll ditch the run-and-shoot offense and install his unique brand of the Air Raid.

When asked Thursday whether Smith would coordinate WSU’s offense in the Sun Bowl, Dickert replied, “That’s the anticipation, yes.”

Smith, who also mentors WSU’s running backs and serves as the team’s associate head coach, is a run-and-shoot disciple who came to Pullman from Hawaii alongside former coach Nick Rolovich in early 2020.

Former WSU assistant heading to Reno

Ken Wilson, one of the longest-tenured assistants during Mike Leach’s eight years on the Palouse, was hired Friday as head coach at Nevada.

The 57-year-old Wilson worked as WSU’s linebackers coach from 2013-18 and gained a reputation as an ace defensive recruiter. In January 2019, he became the fourth Cougars assistant in as many years to be poached by the University of Oregon.

Wilson mentored Ducks linebackers in 2019 and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator this season. Before his nine-year stay in the Pac-12, Wilson spent 19 seasons as a Wolf Pack assistant.

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