Head Coach
Mike Leach

Mike Leach, the 2015 Pac-12 Co-Coach of the Year, begins his sixth season leading the Washington State Cougar football program after being named the Cougars’ head football coach, Nov. 30, 2011. Leach has guided the Cougars to three bowl appearances in his first five years, a first for a WSU head coach.

Last season the Cougars posted an 8-5 mark, including a 7-2 record in Pac-12 play, along with an appearance in the Holiday Bowl. Leach guided a WSU offense that led the Pac-12 and finished third nationally in passing (362.5 ypg), and also led the Pac-12 in completion percentage, second nationally, at .703 percent. WSU won eight-straight games midway through the season, the most since the 1930 campaign. WSU had 10 players earn All-Pac-12 honors, five were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic teams, and redshirt junior offensive lineman Cody O’Connell was a unanimous All-American and finalist for the Outland Trophy.

In 2015 the Cougars ended the season with a 9-4 record, 6-3 in the Pac-12 Conference, capped by a 20-14 Sun Bowl victory over Miami. After starting the season 2-2, the Cougars went 7-2 over the final nine games, posting last-minute victories at Oregon and No. 18 UCLA, and rallying from a fourth-quarter deficit in a 38-24 victory against Arizona State. For the second-straight season WSU led the nation in passing at 389.5 ypg, while also finishing second in the nation in red zone offense, converting 94.5 percent of their opportunities. WSU concluded the regular season by having 11 student-athletes named to All-Pac-12 teams and five to Pac-12 All-Academic teams. Senior offensive lineman Joe Dahl earned Second-Team All-America honors while defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa garnered First-Team Freshman All-American honors by USA Today.

In 2014 Leach’s offense led the nation in passing at 477.7 yards per game, the second-highest total in FBS history, trailing only Houston’s 511.3 in 1989. WSU set or tied 42 school, conference or NCAA records during the season, including quarterback Connor Halliday who threw for an NCAA single-game record 734 yards against California. WSU also placed five student-athletes on Pac-12 All-Academic teams and five on All-Pac-12 teams during the season.


Defensive Coordinator
Tracy Claeys

Washington State University Head Football Coach Mike Leach announced January 8, 2018 that Tracy Claeys had been named WSU’s defensive coordinator.

In his first season leading the Cougar defense, Claeys saw the Speed D lead the Pac-12 Conference in sacks (38), finish second in tackles-for-loss (88), tie for second in takeaways (23) and finish fourth in total defense (359.2), good for No. 42 in the country. WSU also posted a shutout of San Jose State and saw a Pac-12 best 15 players record sack. Four Cougars earned All-Pac-12 honors led by defensive lineman Logan Tago who earned second-team honors for the first time in his career.

Claeys, 50, joined WSU after serving as the head coach at the University of Minnesota (2015-16), where he posted an 11-8 record with back-to-back bowl victories after taking over the program Nov. 11, 2015 when he succeeded Jerry Kill, who resigned due to health reasons. Claeys had been a part of the Minnesota coaching staff since 2011, where he served as defensive coordinator before adding the title of associate head coach prior to the 2014 season. He also reunites with Cougar defensive line coach Jeff Phelps, who coached alongside Claeys at Minnesota from 2011-16.

In 2016, his first full season as head coach, Claeys guided the Gophers to a 9-4 record, a 5-4 mark in Big Ten play and a victory over Washington State in the Holiday Bowl. Minnesota’s nine wins were the most it had earned since winning 10 games in 2003 and were the second most since 1905 when the Gophers also won 10 games.

Minnesota’s defense allowed an average of 22.1 points in 2016, which was the lowest since it allowed 21.9 in 2003. In 2011, when Claeys was in his first year as defensive coordinator, Minnesota allowed 31.7 points, but since then the most it has allowed in a season is 24.2 points. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, the Gophers had held 36 of their last 48 opponents below their scoring average. In 23 of those games, Minnesota held its opposition to eight or more points below their season average and in nine games, the Gophers held their opponents to 14 or more points below their season average.

During the 2015 season, Claeys guided Minnesota to a 2-4 record after replacing Kill the second half of the season. That included a 21-14 win over Central Michigan in the 2015 Quick Lane Bowl. That season the Gophers finished 24th in total defense and 11th nationally in pass defense.

Prior to Minnesota, Claeys spent three seasons at Northern Illinois and seven years at Southern Illinois, all as the defensive coordinator. In 2008, his first season at Northern Illinois, Claeys and the defensive staff engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in the country, as the Huskies led the MAC in pass defense, scoring defense and total defense. The Huskies finished in the top 20 nationally in three categories – fifth in pass defense, 14th in scoring defense and 17th in total defense.
Claeys’ defense topped the MAC and ranked 30th in the country in total defense the following year. The Huskies were also among the top 30 FBS teams in the country in scoring defense that season.

In 2010, Claeys led a Northern Illinois defensive unit that was ranked No. 14 in the nation and No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 19 points per game. The Huskies were also No. 32 in the nation in pass efficiency defense, No. 27 in total defense and No. 27 in rushing defense in Claeys’ final season.

In his last five years at Southern Illinois, Claeys’ defenses allowed an average of 18.5 points while holding opponents to 14 points or less 21 times, which included five shutouts. In 2007, Southern Illinois reached the FCS national semifinal and its defense ranked as the 10th-best FCS scoring defense in the country and the second-best scoring defense at SIU since 1983. They also intercepted 21 passes to rank fourth in the nation.

In 2004, Southern Illinois led the country in scoring defense, allowing just 13.2 points per game. The Salukis gave up only 101.7 yards per game on the ground while snagging 17 interceptions.

Claeys started his coaching career at Santa Fe Trail High School in 1994. He joined Kill in 1995 at Saginaw Valley State, where he coached the defensive line. Claeys became Kill’s defensive coordinator at Emporia State in 1999. He remained in that capacity when Kill took over at Southern Illinois in 2001 and Northern Illinois in 2008.

Claeys, who attended both Kansas and Kansas State, graduated with a degree in Mathematics Education in 1994 from Kansas State. He did not play collegiate football.

Special Teams, Outside Linebackers
Matt Brock

Matt Brock begins his second year at Washington State after joining Mike Leach’s coaching staff in January of 2018, serving as the special teams coordinator while also coaching the outside linebackers.

In his first season Brock saw a trio of Cougars earn All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention honors on special teams in punter Oscar Draguicevich III, kick returner Travell Harris and Kainoa Wilson as a special teams player. WSU finished No. 11 in the country and first in the Pac-12 in net punting (40.9), fifth in the country in kick return (27.1) and second in the Pac-12 in kickoff coverage. Cougar special teams saw Harris earn Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week after a 100-yard kickoff return for touchdown against Eastern Washington, the punt return team return a blocked punt for a touchdown at Oregon State, the kickoff coverage team score a touchdown after recovering a fumble against Arizona and kicker Blake Mazza hit a 42-yard game-winning field goal in the final minute at Stanford. Brock also coached a pair of first-year starters at RUSH linebacker who combined for 15 tackles-for-loss including 8.5 sacks, helping WSU lead the Pac-12 in sacks and finish third in rushing defense.

Brock arrived in Pullman having spent the previous two seasons at Bowling Green, where he served as special team’s coordinator and worked with linebackers. In 2017, he was a nominee for the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in the country. His special teams units ranked among the nation’s top 20 in three different categories: net punting average (4th), kickoff return defense (3rd) and punt return defense (20th).

In his first season at BGSU, Brock’s special teams ranked No. 1 nationally in kickoff defense, third in net punting average and No. 28 in punt return defense. Punter Joseph Davidson was a two-time Ray Guy Award semifinalist, in 2016 was a first team Academic All-American, and was named fourth team All-American by Phil Steele.

Prior to BGSU, Brock spent three seasons at Texas Tech as a defensive quality control assistant. He also coached the defensive line in the Texas Bowl against LSU in 2015. Brock was promoted to inside linebackers coach early in the 2014 season following the departure of defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt and served in that capacity during the remainder of that season. Brock was the defensive quality control coach in his first season at Tech in 2013.

In 2014, Brock spent the majority of the season as the inside linebackers coach, developing Sam Eguavoen, an All-Big 12 linebacker. He assisted in developing the game plan each week and was directly involved in analysis and evaluation on game day. During the 2013 season, Brock’s first with the Red Raiders, he coached Will Smith who garnered All-Big 12 honors along with being named Holiday Bowl Defensive Player of the Game. Smith was drafted in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys.

He went to Texas Tech following two seasons at Baker University (2011-12), his alma mater, where he served as a graduate assistant coach, overseeing the team’s linebackers and assisted Baker defensive coordinator Jason Thoren in the coaches’ booth on game day.

Brock was a linebacker during his collegiate playing career at Baker. He tallied 277 career tackles and posted seven interceptions while leading the league in total tackles and tackles per game in 2010.

A 2009 and 2010 all-conference pick, Brock was a two-time Academic All-American and earned several team most valuable player awards.

Brock graduated from Baker in 2011 while majoring in physical education. Brock and his wife, Alyssa have one daughter, Emma.

Darcel McBath

Darcel McBath begins his third season on the Cougar Football staff and the second as the cornerbacks coach.

This past season, the Cougar cornerbacks combined for five takeaways including four interceptions, 18 pass breakups and added three sacks. Senior Darrien Molton tied for eighth in the Pac-12 with nine pass breakups. McBath saw the secondary finish fourth in the Pac-12 in pass defense while the defense finished No. 42 in the country and fourth in the conference.

In 2017 he served in the role of defensive quality control where he assisted with game prep, film breakdown and statistical tendencies.

McBath spent the 2016 season as a quality control intern at North Texas, working with defensive backs.

Prior to beginning his coaching career, McBath spent five seasons in the NFL. A second-round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 2009 NFL Draft, McBath spent two seasons, in Denver, one in Jacksonville and two in San Francisco. He played in 52 total games, making 45 tackles with two interceptions. He played in Super Bowl XLVII as a member of the 49ers, making one tackle.
McBath was a four-year letterwinner at defensive back for Texas Tech, earning All-Big 12 first team honors in 2008 after leading the nation in interceptions. He graduated in 2008 with a degree in general studies.

McBath and his wife, Malorie, were married in 2013 and have two children, Ansleigh and Duke.

Running Backs
Eric Mele

Eric Mele enters his fifth full season as a Cougar assistant coach, and second year working with running backs after spending the previous three seasons as the special teams coordinator. He was promoted to the full-time special teams coach in February, 2015, after serving in the same role on an interim basis the final two months of the 2014 campaign.

Mele spent the previous two and a half seasons in an offensive quality control position, working with film breakdown and assisting with the development of quarterbacks.

Last season, Mele coached the running backs that featured a couple dynamic playmakers in All-Pac-12 honorable mention James Williams and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honorable mention Max Borghi. Mele guided the Cougar running backs who combined to lead all Pac-12 running back groups with 145 receptions and tallied the second-most total touchdowns (28). Williams led all running backs nationally with 83 catches and Borghi scored 12 total touchdowns, tying the WSU single-season record for total touchdowns by a freshman.

In 2017, Mele mentored All-Pac-12 Second Team kicker Erik Powell, who concluded his Cougar career third on the school’s all-time points kicking list. Powell earned Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week three times during the season and was also a Lou Groza Award semifinalist. Powell finished his career with a school record 164 career PAT and third in WSU history for field goals made and field goal percentage. Under Mele, the Cougar special teams produced the sixth-ranked punt coverage team in the country and didn't allow a special teams touchdown for the the first time since 2005.

In 2016 the Cougars produced some impressive special teams numbers while reaching a couple milestones. WSU recorded its first kick return for touchdown since 2003 and its first punt return for a touchdown since 2005, the first time to record both in the same season since 1968. As a result of the returns, both Robert Taylor (kickoff) and Kaleb Fossum (punt) earned Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Earlier in the season, the Cougars scored twice on special teams in the win over Idaho, returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown and later scoring after recovering a fumble during a kickoff. In Pac-12 play, Washington State was the top-ranked punt return team (18.8 yards-per-return) and was second in kick return (23.0 yards-per-return). The punt return unit finished ninth in the country after averaging 13.5 yards-per-return.

In 2015 the Cougar special teams showed improvement from 2014 in many statistical categories, including kickoff coverage, kickoff return, punt return and punt return defense. Freshman kick returner Tavares Martin, Jr. was eighth in the Pac-12 in kickoff returns at 22.1 ypr while kicker Erik Powell made 20 field goals, fourth-most in WSU history.

Prior to Washington State, Mele spent five seasons as the special teams coordinator/running backs coach at Wingate University. In his time at Wingate, Mele helped guide the Bulldogs to a 36-19 record highlighted by a second-appearance in the 2010 NCAA Division II playoffs.

Prior to his time at Wingate, Mele spent the 2006 season as the wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator at Saint Peter’s College (N.J.) where they finished eighth in the FCS in completions. He worked the 2005 season as the co-defensive coordinator/special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at Marist High School (N.J.), helping them to their first playoff berth in 12 seasons. Mele also worked two seasons as the special teams coordinator/defensive backs coach at William Paterson University (N.J.).

Mele was a three-year starter at strong safety and outside linebacker at William Paterson where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice in 2002. He earned his master’s degree in sports management from the American Military University in 2007.

Mele and his wife, Melissa, have four daughters, Samantha, Jordan, Taylor and Madison.

Offensive Line
Mason Miller

Mason Miller enters his second season on Coach Leach’s coaching staff as the offensive line coach.

Miller arrived in Pullman after serving one year as Nevada’s offensive line coach, under first-year coach Jay Norvell. No stranger to the Air Raid system, Miller has spent the majority of his career coaching in that style of offense, working with both Leach and Hal Mumme, two of the Air Raid’s architects.

In his first season with Cougars, Miller’s group developed into one of the nation’s best offensive lines, protecting the nation’s top passing attack, blocking for 24 rushing touchdowns and allowed just 13 sacks, the eighth-fewest sacks allowed in the country. WSU’s group up front was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s best offensive line, while three players earned All-Pac-12 Conference honors. Left tackle Andre Dillard led the way earning All-Pac-12 first-team honors and was later named to the All-America Second Team by and rated the top pass-blocking tackle in the country by ProFootballFocus. Right tackle Abraham Lucas was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team and was later earned Freshman All-America honors by The USA Today and The Athletic and center Frederick Mauigoa earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

Miller, who has coached at all three levels of the NCAA, has been a key part in establishing lethal offenses wherever he goes. As part of the coaching staff at Southeastern Louisiana, New Mexico State, McMurry and Tarleton State, Miller’s offenses have set numerous school records and have ranked in the top five in the nation in multiple offensive categories.

During his time at Tarleton State (2014-16), Miller constructed the team’s high powered offense into one of the most potent in the nation. For the 2014 season Tarleton State ranked third nationally in total offense, averaging 534 yards per game and put up 43 points per game. The same continued in 2015 with one of the most high powered offenses in the country, averaging nearly 40 points per game.

Prior to Tarleton State, Miller served as the head coach at McMurry for the 2013 season. While leading the War Hawks, the offense set school records in multiple categories including total yards (5,775), yards per game (523.1) and most points scored (424). Before his promotion to head coach, Miller was an assistant coach for the War Hawks for four seasons (2009-12). He had been an integral part of three consecutive winning seasons at McMurry, something that had happened just six other times in the university’s 87-year football history. In Miller’s four seasons as an assistant coach the War Hawks averaged 416 yards per game of total offense with better than 346 yards per game coming through the air. Miller began as the War Hawks’ assistant head coach and offensive line coach and was promoted to offensive coordinator after the departure of Matt Mumme following the 2010 season. Miller also served as McMurry’s recruiting coordinator.

The 2012 campaign, which was McMurry’s first as an NCAA Division II competitor, saw the War Hawk offense average more than 433 yards per game in total offense, 367 yards per game via the passing game. Then-quarterback Jake Mullin became just the 59th player in NCAA history - at any level - to pass for both 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in a career, leading the team to its first bowl appearance, and win, in 63 years.

In 2011, Miller’s first as offensive coordinator, he oversaw an offense that ranked 18th in the nation, and second in the American Southwest Conference, in scoring offense at 37.7 points per game. Eight of his 2011 players were named to the All-ASC team on offense. Additionally, McMurry broke the NCAA Division III single game total offense record with 863 yards versus Texas Lutheran. In 2010 Miller guided the offensive line, which paved the way for the No. 2 ranked passing offense in both the ASC and NCAA Division III.

Miller played running back at Valdosta State under offensvie coordinator Mike Leach for two seasons (1994-95) and was a member of the NCAA Division II team that made the national playoffs for the first time in school history. Miller stayed on at Valdosta State as a student assistant after suffering a career-ending knee injury. He was a part of the staff that led VSU to a 1996 Gulf South Conference Championship.

Hal Mumme took Miller with him to New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M. from 2005-08 and worked with the Aggies’ offensive line all four years and an offense that ranked third in the nation in total offense. He coached four all-conference linemen at NMSU including Nick Cole, who played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles. Miller was promoted to assistant head coach prior to the 2008 season with the Aggies.

Miller graduated from Valdosta State in Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1999. He and his wife, Megan, have two daughters, Madison and Mallory.

Inside Recievers
Dave Nichol

Dave Nichol is in his fourth season on Washington State’s staff after being named the Cougars outside receivers coach in Dec., 2015, reuniting with Head Coach Mike Leach. At the start of 2017 fall camp Nichol moved from coaching outside receivers to working with the insider receivers.

Last season, the Cougar inside receivers combined for 124 receptions for 1,361 yards and eight touchdowns. Nichol saw four of his players record 20+ receptions and Jamire Calvin led the way with 42 catches for 497 yards while Renard Bell paced the group with five touchdown grabs. Redshirt-freshman Travell Harris caught 27 passes in his first season seeing game action and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a kick returner after averaging a Pac-12 best 27.6 yards-per-return, sixth-best in the country.

In 2017, WSU’s inside receivers combined for 135 receptions, 1,444 yards and nine touchdowns. Junior Kyle Sweet was the only upper classman as the unit returns intact for the 2018 season. Redshirt-freshman Renard Bell was a Pac-12 All-Freshman First Team selected while true freshman Jamire Calvin earned second-team accolades.

In 2016, the Cougar outside receivers combined for 203 receptions for 2,032 yards and 21 touchdowns, led by senior Gabe Marks, who repeated as an All-Pac-12 First Team performer. Marks also became the Pac-12 career leader in receptions, finishing with 316 and 37 touchdowns, second all-time in conference history.

Nichol is no stranger to a Mike Leach-coached team, having spent three seasons (2003-05) as an offensive line assistant at Texas Tech under the current Cougar head coach. Prior to WSU, Nichol served as the offensive coordinator at East Carolina in 2015.

Nichol has coached on staffs that have reached 11 bowl games since 2000. In 2015 he was elevated to East Carolina’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after serving the previous three seasons as the Pirates’ outside receivers coach. While at ECU, Nichol played a vital role in guiding an offense that finished third nationally in passing and fifth in total offense during the 2014 season. The Pirate offense established successive single-season school records for passing yards and total offense, and combined he was part of 70 individual or team single-game, single-season and career offensive standards that were tied or set from 2012-14.

Prior to East Carolina, Nichol spent five seasons on the staff at Arizona. He began as a graduate assistant in 2007, focusing on the offensive line, he was promoted to outside receivers coach after one season and added the insider receivers the following year. With Nichol on staff, the Wildcats saw their offense increase 130 yards per game over the previous offensive system as Arizona reached three-straight bowl games. His final season in Tucson the Wildcat offense moved from 10th to 3rd in passing nationally, ending the 2011 season averaging 370.8 ypg.

Nichol began his coaching career as a student coach at his alma mater Texas Tech following his playing career as a wide receiver. He followed that with a year at Cisco (Texas) Junior College, three years back at Texas Tech as an offensive assistant, and a year at Baylor (2006) as a staff assistant.

Nichol, 39, earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise sports sciences from Texas Tech in 1999 and followed with a master’s in interdisciplinary studies from the same institution three years later.

A native of Chicago, Ill., Nichol graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas (Texas) before enrolling at Texas Tech.

Defensive Line
Jeff Phelps

Jeff Phelps begins his third season on the Cougars’ coaching staff working with the defensive line.

Last season, Phelps’ defensive front anchored the Cougar “Speed D” that led the Pac-12 Conference with 38 sacks, the ninth-most in WSU single-season history, and finished second in the league with 88 tackles-for-loss. The defensive line featured just one returning starter from 2018 but excelled in 2019, combining for 34 tackles for loss and 14 sacks led by All-Pac-12 second-team selection Logan Tago who set career highs of 10.5 tackles-for-loss and three sacks. WSU finished the season ranked third in the Pac-12 in rush defense and No. 42 nationally in total defense.

In 2017, Phelps directed a defensive line that produced 45.5 TFL’s and 20 sacks, helping the Cougar defense to rank in the top 20 in eight different categories. He also mentored Hercules Mata’afa to one of the finest seasons in school history as the redshirt-junior garnered Consensus All-America honors and was named the 2017 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. Mata’afa registered 10.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles-for-loss and was named the Associated Press Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Phelps arrived in Pullman having spent the past six seasons as the defensive line coach at the University of Minnesota. This past season Minnesota posted a 9-4 record, including a win over Washington State in the Holiday Bowl. The Gopher defense ranked No. 12 in the nation in tackles for loss, No. 14 in rushing yards allowed and No. 22 in sacks.

During his six seasons in Minneapolis, Phelps was a part of five bowl teams and coached four players who earned All-Big Ten honors, including 2013 Third Team All-American Ra’Shede Hagemen, who was a 2014 second-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons.

Phelps joined the Minnesota staff after spending five years coaching at Northern Illinois. From 2008-2010, he coached the Huskies’ defensive line. In 2006-07, Phelps was responsible for coaching the Huskie defensive tackles.

Phelps coached defensive end Larry English at NIU. English went on to be named the Mid-American Conference’s Most Valuable Player twice and was the 2008 MAC Defensive Player of the Year. He was the 16th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, going to the San Diego Chargers.

Phelps began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ball State in 1999. He then spent three seasons at DePauw, where he coached the running backs for two seasons before going to the defensive side of the ball to coach the linebackers. He then spent three seasons at Hillsdale (Mich.) College, where he coached the defensive line from 2003-05 before joining the staff at NIU.

Phelps was a Second-Team All-MAC player at outside linebacker for Ball State following his senior season in 1997. He was also an Honorable Mention All-MAC selection as a junior. The Chicago native holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State.
Phelps is a graduate of Crete-Monee High School, where he was a three-sport standout, earning seven letters - football (2), wrestling (2), track and field (3).

He and his wife Tyla have a son, Carsen, and a daughter, Harlyn.

Kendrick Shaver

Kendrick Shaver begins his second season as the Cougars safeties and NICKEL coach after joining Mike Leach’s coaching staff in Jan., 2018.

Last season, Shaver’s group of safeties and Nickels combined for six interceptions and 10 tackles-for-loss while helping the Cougar “Speed D” finish fourth in the Pac-12 in total defense, fourth in pass defense and tied for second in takeaways. Shaver saw three of his players finish among the Cougars top-5 tacklers led by first-year starter Skyler Thomas (76) while Jalen Thompson earned All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention after making 67 stops with two interceptions, eight pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Prior to WSU, Shaver coached seven seasons at Utah State, the final two as the co-defensive coordinator. Throughout his time at Utah State, Shaver spent six seasons coaching in the secondary before working with outside linebackers in 2017. During his seven years at Utah State, Shaver was part of a Utah State program that played in a school-record six-straight bowl games, to go along with a 2012 Western Athletic Conference championship.

Each of his final two seasons the Aggie defense ranked among the top 20 nationally in passing yards allowed, finishing the 2017 seasons 19th at 182.5 ypg. The USU defense had another similarity with recent Washington State defenses: turnovers gained. In 2017, the Aggie defense gained 29 turnovers, which ranked sixth nationally. That figure was one better than WSU’s 28 turnovers gained, which ranked ninth. Throughout his seven years on the Aggies’ defense staff, Utah State’s defense was at or the near the top of the Mountain West Conference and among the top third of the national leaders in several categories. In 2013 and 2014, the USU defense ranked seventh and 12th, respectively, in scoring defense.

During his time at Utah State, Shaver, who was named’s Co-Defensive Backs National Coach of the Year in 2012, mentored current NFL player Nevin Lawson of Detroit. He also has coached All-Americans Will Davis (2012) and Lawson (2013), while two Utah State cornerbacks have been selected in the NFL Draft: Davis in the third round (93rd pick) of the 2013 NFL Draft by Miami and Lawson in the fourth round (133rd overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft by Detroit.

Prior to joining Utah State’s staff, Shaver spent four years (2007-10) as the secondary coach at Northern Colorado. Shaver was also the secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (2006), and defensive and special teams graduate assistant at Eastern Kentucky (2004-05). He began his coaching career at Hillcrest (Mo.) High School, where he coached defensive backs and wide receivers in 2002.

A native of Eufaula, Okla., Shaver played two seasons (1998-99) at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College before transferring to Missouri State, where he was a free safety and cornerback in 2000 and 2001. With 11 pass breakups in 2001, Shaver is presently tied for No. 6 on MSU’s single-season pass defense list. Shaver spent the 2003 season playing for the Sioux Falls Storm of the NIFL before coaching full-time.

Shaver, who graduated from Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in business in 2002 and went on to earn his master’s degree in physical education in 2005 from Eastern Kentucky, served an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Oakland Raiders in 2014.

Outside Receivers
Steve Spurrier, Jr.

Steve Spurrier Jr. joined the Cougar coaching staff in Jan., 2018 and begins his second season as Washington State’s outside receivers coach under Head Coach Mike Leach.

Last season, Spurrier Jr. saw his group combine for 23 touchdowns while four players caught 26+ passes including a pair of receivers who each caught over 60+ passes for the nation’s top passing offense. Three outside receivers posted multiple 100-yard games in Tay Martin and Easop Winston Jr. who each also caught eight touchdowns while Dezmon Patmon finished eighth in the Pac-12 with 816 receiving yards to go along with his five touchdown catches.

Spurrier Jr. joined the Cougar staff having spent the 2017 season as the assistant head coach/ quarterbacks at Western Kentucky University. Spurrier Jr. helped develop quarterback Mike White into WKU’s first Senior Bowl participant at quarterback and just the second quarterback in school history to post multiple seasons of 4,000 or more passing yards. The Hilltoppers reached the 2017 Autonation Cure Bowl as White’s 4,177 passing yards were fourth nationally while his 368 completions led the nation.

Spurrier Jr.’s collegiate coaching career has included 17 postseason bowl games, including the Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl, as well as five conference championships (three SEC and two Big 12) and two national championships (Oklahoma, 2000; Florida, 1996).

Spurrier spent the 2016 campaign at Oklahoma in an off-field role as a recruiting and offensive specialist, particularly with offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

Prior to his time in Norman, Spurrier spent 11 seasons at South Carolina on his father’s staff as the Gamecocks’ wide receivers coach. He added titles of passing game coordinator in 2009, recruiting coordinator in 2011 and co-offensive coordinator in 2012. During his time in Columbia, the Gamecocks went to nine bowl games and his pupils featured future NFL stars Sidney Rice, Alshon Jeffery and Kenny McKinley.

Under Spurrier Jr., Jeffery developed into one of South Carolina’s all-time greatest receivers, setting school records for career receiving yards (3,042) and 100-yard receiving games (12), and tying the school record for touchdown catches with 23 in 2011. Jeffery’s All-America sophomore season (2010) earned him a spot as a Biletnikoff finalist as he tallied a single-season school record 1,517 yards.

Spurrier was also invested in the development of Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Pharoh Cooper, a fourth round draft pick in 2016. During Cooper’s sophomore season (2014), he set the school’s single-game receiving yards record with 233 and was named the 2014 Independence Bowl MVP for a nine catch, 170-yard performance against Miami.

The South Carolina record book is littered with receivers coached by Spurrier. On top of Jeffery and Cooper, McKinley become South Carolina’s all-time leader in receptions (207) and receiving yards in 2008 before Jeffery broke his yardage record three seasons later. Prior to joining his father at South Carolina, Spurrier spent one season at the University of Arizona (2004) under head coach Mike Stoops. He spent two seasons as wide receivers coach in the NFL with the Washington Redskins (2002-03) where he coached Laveranues Coles to a 2003 Pro Bowl season with 82 receptions for 1,204 yards.

Before joining his father at South Carolina, Spurrier spent one season at the University of Arizona (2004) under head coach Mike Stoops, two seasons as wide receivers coach in the NFL with the Washington Redskins (2002-03) and was a part of Bob Stoops’ rebuilding project at Oklahoma (1999-2001), culminating with a perfect 13-0 record and national championship in 2000. He also worked alongside Leach during the 1999 season at Oklahoma.

A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Spurrier Jr. played collegiately at Duke where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1994. While working as a graduate assistant at Florida, Spurrier added his master’s in 1996. Spurrier Jr. and his wife, the former Melissa Beauchamp, are the parents of triplets, Luke, Gavin and Emmaline; Nolan; twins, Palmer and Hayden, and McKinley.