Washington State Cougars

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Mike Leach and WSU sued by former player who was suspended and not welcomed back


Former Washington State cornerback Zaire Webb is suing Washington State and Cougars head coach Mike Leach after not being allowed to be reinstated to the football program. Webb was dismissed by Leach from the program following an arrest last October but says he should have been allowed to return to the team after the charges were dropped. The report of the lawsuit was originally shared by Deadspin, along with the documents for the lawsuit.

At the time of Webb’s dismissal (wide receiver Anthony White Jr. was also given the boot for the same reason), Leach explained any violation of three simple rules in his program would result in an automatic removal from the program. Any player found guilty of violence against a woman, being connected to illegal drugs, or stealing gets removed from the program, according to Leach’s policy. But Webb feels he should have been welcomed back to the program after the charges against him were dropped. After he was removed from the football program, the university pulled Webb’s scholarship.

Webb is building his case on the accusation that Leach has been known to bend his own rules with regard to those three previously mentioned causes for automatic dismissal. Not every example outlined by Webb’s lawsuit ties directly to the three red lines Leach supposedly has drawn, but there is at least one example that supports Webb’s claim. The lawsuit claims wide receiver Grant Porter remained on the roster this spring despite a domestic-violence charge from last November, although Washington State has followed up to say Porter is indefinitely suspended.

Webb’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, in addition to reimbursement for legal fees and costs, and any other support the court deems warranted for Webb. There is no specific request to see Webb reinstated on scholarship at Washington State or within the football program.

Washington State and Leach have provided no comment on this lawsuit.

Helmet sticker to The Comeback.

Family of Tyler Hilinski writes letter to Washington State community

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The family of former Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski is continuing to go through the grieving process following his death earlier this year. In a letter written to the entire Washington State community, the family expressed its gratitude to the reception and reactions that have continued to come their way after Hilinski was found dead in an apparent suicide.

In a lengthy letter shared with Cougars fans via the SB Nation site CougCenter, the Hilinski family thanked Washington State fans for “outpouring of love and support, words of kindness and encouragement” and “the amazing amount of love” shown for Hilinski.

As shared via CougCenter;

From the spring games to the fall scrimmages and camps and the games every weekend … in class and around town … he was touched by all of you. And so are we. Please accept this note as a very small thank you on behalf of the entire Hilinski family for every text, email, card, flower, prayer, poem and dollar raised in support of keeping Tyler’s memory alive. It is important to us that we tell you how much this means to us and will continue to help support us in the darkest days ahead. Let them never stop.

The letter goes on to say the family is still trying to come to grips with what exactly happened in leading up to Hilinski’s death, and the family says they will provide whatever information they can as they receive it so the entire community can get a better understanding of what happened. Hilinksi was found dead as the result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head, however, the sequence of events and personal details that may have led to such a tragic end for Hilinski continues to be explored.

Mike Leach’s significantly revamped Wazzu staff whole again

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After an offseason that saw significant poaching of his Washington State coaching staff, Mike Leach‘s assistant roll is again whole.

Monday night, Wazzu announced the hirings of three new assistant coaches — Matt Brock, Mason Miller and, as previously reportedSteve Spurrier Jr.  Brock will be in charge of special teams, Miller the offensive line and the son of the Ol’ Ball Coach outside wide receivers.

Miller comes to Pullman after one season at Nevada, while Brock spent the past two seasons at Bowling Green.  Prior to his one season at Western Kentucky in 2017, and one season as an off-field staffer at Oklahoma before that, Spurrier Jr. had been an assistant on his father’s South Carolina staff for 11 seasons.  During his time with the Gamecocks, he served at various points as wide receivers coach (2005-15), passing-game coordinator (2009-11) and co-offensive coordinator (2012-15).

“We are excited to have our coaching staff finalized and in Pullman,” said Leach in a statement. “The amount of interest in our program was overwhelming, validating that we continue to be heading in a positive direction. With the most recent hires we were able to secure some great football coaches who are hard-working, great recruiters and share a similar vision for success.”

In addition to the trio of hires, Leach’s 2018 coaching staff will consist of Tracy Claeys (defensive coordinator), Kendrick Shavers (safeties), Darcel McBath (cornerbacks), Eric Mele (running backs), Dave Nichol (inside receivers), Jeff Phelps (defensive line), Ken Wilson (linebackers).  Mele had been special teams coordinator the past three seasons for the Cougars before shifting roles this year.

Report: Steve Spurrier Jr. leaving WKU for job at Wazzu

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With coaching holes throughout his Washington State staff to fill thanks to significant offseason poaching, Mike Leach has added a very famous college football surname.  Reportedly.

According to the Bowling Green Daily News, Steve Spurrier Jr. is leaving Western Kentucky to take a job under Leach at Wazzu.  The son of College Football Hall of Famer Steve Spurrier just completed his first season as the Hilltoppers’ quarterbacks coach.  He also held the title of assistant head coach under Mike Sanford.

It’s unclear what specific title Spurrier Jr. will hold at Wazzu.

Prior to his one season at WKU, and one season as an off-field staffer at Oklahoma, Spurrier Jr. had been an assistant on his father’s South Carolina staff for 11 seasons.  During his time with the Gamecocks, he served at various points as wide receivers coach (2005-15), passing-game coordinator (2009-11) and co-offensive coordinator (2012-15).

Spurrier Jr., who played wide receiver at Duke, has also spent time during his coaching career as receivers coach at Oklahoma (1999-2001) and with the Washington Redskins (2002-03).

Mark Your Calendars: KU, Wazzu reportedly set for 2027-28 home-and-home series

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Are you ready for some good news? Kansas and Washington State are (finally, FINALLY!) going to meet on the gridiron.

Are you ready for some bad news? You’re going to have to wait nearly a decade to see it.

The Jayhawks and Cougars have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2027-28, according to documents obtained by FBSchedules. Washington State is set to host the first game on Sept. 11, 2027, with Kansas returning the favor on Sept. 9, 2028. The programs have met 10 times previously, but not since 1977. Kansas holds a 7-2 all-time advantage.

Washington State is also set to visit Boise State in 2027, but does not have any other games lined up for ’28. Kansas does not have any other agreements for either season.

Interestingly, Wazzu’s Kansas home-and-home is sandwiched around a home-and-home with Kansas State in 2026 and ’29. Washington State has not faced a Big 12 opponent since a 65-17 loss at Oklahoma State to open the 2010 season.

Kansas, who also has future games with Rutgers, Boston College, Duke and Illinois on the docket, has not squared off with a Pac-12 foe — not counting former Big 12 bunk mate Colorado — since a 41-17 loss to UCLA on Sept. 8, 2001.