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Eastern Washington University Football

Eastern Washington football fills in staff, hires trio of offensive assistants and linebackers coach

By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

With spring practices less than two months away, the Eastern Washington football team has rounded out its coaching staff.

On Friday, the Eagles announced the hiring of new positional coaches for their running backs, wide receivers, offensive line and linebackers.

Two new assistants – Hayden Mace (offensive line) and Brandon Johnson-Farrell (running backs) – coached last season at the University of Sioux Falls. That’s where EWU offensive coordinator Jim Chapin was before joining Eastern around this time last year.

Mace was also an EWU quality control coach from 2017 to 2019. He spent the past three seasons at USF, coaching the offensive line all three years and coordinating the offense in 2022.

Originally from Bend, Oregon, Mace is replacing Jase Butorac, who was Eastern’s offensive line coach for the past six seasons. Mace played center at Division III Linfield from 2008 to 2011.

Johnson-Farrell was USF’s wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator from 2018 to 2022. The last couple of seasons, Eastern Washington has assigned multiple coaches to handle various aspects of special teams rather than naming a coordinator.

But presumably Johnson-Farrell – hired to coach EWU’s running backs, which was Aaron Prier’s role last year – could take a part in coaching special teams at Eastern, given his experience. Prier is the running backs coach at Fresno State.

Originally from Maryland, Johnson-Farrell played at the University of Rhode Island from 2008 to 2012. He ranks third on URI’s career receptions list with 198 and second on URI’s career all-purpose yardage list with 5,083, the majority of those yards gained as a returner.

Jeff McDaniels will be Eastern’s wide receivers coach, replacing Greg Hardin. During the past two seasons, McDaniels was the senior offensive analyst at Auburn. He played wide receiver at Davidson from 2010 to 2014 and after that had coaching stops at Texas State, Old Dominion and Boise State.

Eric Sanders will take over for Justin Mullgrav as Eastern Washington’s linebackers coach. Sanders was the inside linebackers coach at Stanford for the past three seasons, but he also has NFL coaching experience as a defensive assistant with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, and a four-year stint as the Oakland Raiders’ quality control coach from 2010 to 2014.

The Eagles’ spring practice schedule will begin on April 7. Their season will begin Sept. 2 against North Dakota State in Minneapolis.