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WSU elevates Joel Diaz Romero to Director of Recruiting, replacing Stacey Ford

TUCSON, Ariz. — Washington State’s football recruits will be seeing more of a certain face moving forward.

That’s Joel Diaz Romero, who has been promoted from offensive high school scout to Director of Recruiting, the program announced Thursday. Romero spent last season in his first full-time role at WSU, which came after his first four seasons with the program, which he spent as a student assistant.

Romero replaces former recruiting director Stacey Ford, who has taken a job as Fresno State’s Director of Player Personnel, according to a source familiar with the situation. Ford had worked each of the previous two seasons as the Cougars’ Director of Recruiting, which came after his three-year stint as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Warren High School in Los Angeles.

Romero was key in landing a few members of Washington State’s 2024 signing class, according to a source, including wide receivers Tony Freeman of the College of San Mateo and Chris Barnes of North Shore High in Houston. 

WSU’s recruiting department now consists of Romero, director of on-campus recruiting Taylor Long and general manager Rob Schlaeger.

Romero graduated from WSU in spring 2023 with a major in sports management.

WSU also announced Thursday that safeties and nickels coach Jordan Malone has added defensive pass game coordinator responsibilities to his plate. Malone has spent four seasons with the Cougs, the first as a defensive analyst and the second as cornerbacks coach.

Ford’s departure marks the third this offseason for WSU, which also lost cornerbacks coach Ray Brown to the same gig at Boston College and offensive line coach Clay McGuire to the same job at Texas Tech.