To say it’s been a rough couple of months for Mike Leach might be an understatement.
First his athletic director left for Nebraska. Then his team ended the season by getting thumped by rival Washington in the Apple Cup and in the Holiday Bowl by Michigan State. After publicly flirting with taking the Tennessee job, that kind of blew up in his and the Vols’ then-athletic director’s face. Starting quarterback Tyler Hilinski tragically committed suicide in a death that sent an absolute shock throughout the Cougars community as well. And as far as his coaching staff, he may have just lost his fifth assistant coach and third to a Pac-12 rival this offseason.
FootballScoop is reporting that Wazzu inside receivers coach Derek Sage is leaving the staff to take a similar position on Chip Kelly’s UCLA staff in Westwood. The young coach has developed several good players during his time on the Palouse and prior to hooking up with Leach he coached three seasons at Toledo and was at Wyoming prior to that.
Sage becomes the second staff member from Washington State to head to the Bruins after linebackers coach Roy Manning was named UCLA’s special teams coordinator last month. Also out the door are defensive coordinator Alex Grinch (to Ohio State), running backs coach Jim Mastro to Oregon and offensive line coach Clay McGuire to Texas Tech. Strength coach Jason Loscalzo also left to join the Chicago Bears.
While the team has experienced some historic success on the field the past few years under Leach, things will be a lot different in 2018 with a host of new faces and names on the coaching staff going forward.