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Washington State hires Nick Whitworth as tight ends coach/special-teams coordinator

Texas State special teams coordinator/running backs coach Nick Whitworth reacts during a game against Florida International on Sept. 11 in Miami. Whitworth has been hired by Washington State to serve as the Cougars’ tight ends coach/special teams coordinator.  (Texas State Athletics)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Nick Whitworth will fill a long-vacant coaching position at Washington State.

The former Texas State assistant has been hired to mentor the Cougars’ tight ends and coordinate the program’s special teams, WSU announced Friday.

The Pullman school hasn’t employed a tight ends coach since Rich Rasmussen held the job in 2011 under head coach Paul Wulff.

But newly hired offensive coordinator Eric Morris is installing a revamped version of the Air Raid offense and reintroducing the position group at WSU. He’s also adding H-backs – versatile fullbacks, essentially.

Whitworth will oversee the Cougars’ tight ends and H-backs while sharing some special-teams responsibilities with edge coach A.J. Cooper.

“We’re going to divide (special teams) up more than we have in the past,” first-year coach Jake Dickert said during a news conference Tuesday. “The coach that we bring in (Whitworth) is going to be the face of it, the energy of it and do the bulk of it.”

Whitworth spent the past three seasons as special teams coordinator/running backs coach at Texas State. He had the same job title at FCS Portland State (2015-18) and Division II Central Washington (2011-14).

Whitworth served as offensive coordinator at NAIA Montana Western in 2010 after seven seasons as special teams coordinator/recruiting coordinator at Idaho State, his alma mater. He returned kicks and played running back for the Bengals from 1997-2001.

“Nick has a rich history in the Pacific Northwest and we are excited to bring him back to create and elevate our tight end position,” Dickert said, quoted in a WSU release. “His extensive knowledge and passion for special teams was evident throughout the process and he will be a great fit for our program.”

With one more hire, the Cougars’ on-field staff for 2022 will be complete. Veteran assistant Mark Banker left the program recently, so WSU is searching for a new safeties/nickels coach.