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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

WSU’s Jake Dickert a ‘strong candidate’ for Michigan State opening, according to report

Jake Dickert celebrates a touchdown during the second half of WSU’s win over Wisconsin in Pullman.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Washington State football coach Jake Dickert could be a candidate for a job elsewhere.

According to a new report that surfaced Friday morning, in the Athletic, Dickert is a “strong candidate” for the head coach opening at Michigan State, which fired former coach Mel Tucker for cause on Wednesday.

“Having coached at all levels of college football, Dickert has unique perspective on the game and that seems to have really helped shape him,” wrote reporter Bruce Feldman.

The story listed two candidates as the Spartans’ possible top choices: Dickert and Lance Leipold, the head coach at Kansas.

Dickert is under contract at WSU through 2027, thanks to a one-year extension he signed in January. In November 2021, when he accepted the Cougars’ head coaching position, he agreed to a five-year deal.

If Dickert were to terminate his contract early, he would owe WSU a buyout. That dollar amount is unclear – it depends on how early he would be leaving.

Dickert has led the Cougars to a 4-0 record this year, with two wins over ranked teams (then-No. 19 Wisconsin and then-No. 14 Oregon State).

WSU’s Cameron Ward has blossomed into one of the country’s top quarterbacks and, ahead of WSU’s Oct. 7 road matchup with UCLA, the Cougars are off to their best start in six seasons.

Whether the move makes sense for Dickert depends .

On one hand, the Pac-12’s future is hazy, and this would give Dickert a chance to move to a more secure landing spot. Still, Dickert has spent the last couple of months reinforcing his commitment to WSU, especially as it looks for its next conference home.

“I think it is my job to stand up for the people of Washington State, because I think these decisions greatly impact all of us,” Dickert said Tuesday, referencing the Pac-12’s collapse. “It impacts our academic institution, our faculty, student body, alumni, the community, Pullman at large. I mean, the grocery store owner down the street.

“Fighting for my staff and their families, all the men and women in our athletics programs. It’s really important.”