Not long after Ohio State swiped its defensive coordinator, Washington State turned to a replacement with Big Ten ties to fill the void.
Following up on reports that surfaced earlier in the day, Wazzu confirmed a few hours later that Tracy Claeys has been hired as Mike Leach‘s defensive coordinator. Claeys replaces Alex Grinch, who took a job with Urban Meyer at OSU earlier today.
“Tracy comes highly recommended as a tremendous teacher, strategist, and a player’s coach with an impressive body of work that has withstood the test of time,” a statement from the head coach began. “We are fortunate to have him at Washington State University.”
Claeys was named interim head coach at Minnesota in 2015 when Jerry Kill stepped down because of health concerns, with Claeys being named the full-time replacement not long after. A little more than a year later, and not long after he supported protests by his players, Claeys was fired.
Claeys was the Gophers’ defensive coordinator for four seasons and part of a fifth before taking over as head coach. Prior to that, he was the coordinator at Northern Illinois for three seasons, his first job at the FBS level.
Last season, Claeys was sidelined from the coaching profession.
“I would like to thank Coach Leach and Washington State University for the opportunity to coach the Cougs!” said Claeys. “I am looking forward to getting to Pullman, working with a great staff and getting to know the players.”