Washington State Huskies

Washington State tabs Alex Grinch as its new defensive coordinator


Mike Leach had a difficult hire to make. More than a month after defensive coordinator Mike Breske was dismissed, Leach found his man.

Washington State required a replacement that could develop a scheme to slow opponents and take some of the pressure off the team’s explosive offense.

Leach tabbed Missouri’s safeties coach, Alex Grinch, to take over the defensive side of the ball.

“We are excited to have Alex part of our football family,” Leach said in a statement released by a school. “He is a passionate, tireless worker who brings tremendous excitement and aggression to our team. He has a track record of developing young talent which will be of great benefit to our defense.

Grinch, 36, will be tasked with turning around a Washington State Cougars defense that finished 97th overall and 10th in the Pac-12 last season.

“I’m excited to join the Washington State football program and thank Coach Leach for the opportunity,” Grinch said. “It’s time to get to work to produce a defense that Cougar fans can be proud of!”

Grinch spent three seasons at Missouri after stops at Wyoming and New Hampshire.

The young coach certainly made an impression on Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly when the two were on the Wildcats staff together.

“He’s the real deal, Kelly said. “He’s intelligent, articulate and has an unbelievable work ethic. He is one of the best teachers I’ve been around.”

Leach added, “He is highly regarded in the coaching field and has a very bright future. We are very fortunate to have Alex at Washington State University.”

(Photo courtesy of the Missouri athletic department)