WSU Notebook

COUGAR GREAT Jason Gesser's return to Washington State has expanded beyond the radio booth. The Cougars announced Wednesday that Gesser has been named assistant director of development for the Cougar Athletic Fund.

The 2003 Rose Bowl quarterback will focus on encouraging former WSU athletes to reconnect with the school.

Gesser was recently added to the football radio broadcast team as a color analyst.

COUGREAT STEVE GLEASON, who played both football and baseball at Washington State, underwent a tracheotomy Monday to assist his breathing.

Gleason has been battling ALS – Lou Gehrig's disease – since 2010. He has helped raise millions of dollars to aid ALS patients and spur research into the disease, which has no known cure.

"I am persistent like a banana tree," Gleason tweeted Monday. "Cut me down, and I will be back before you know it."

THE NBA RUMOR MILL is spitting out more talk about a Klay Thompson trade, but the Golden State Warriors seem determined to squash those rumors yet again.

Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group reported that "a team source" told him the Warriors are not interested in parting ways with Thompson in a possible deal for Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love.

Love is reportedly interested in leaving Minnesota. In April, Warriors owner Joe Lacob told a Bay Area radio station, "We are going to re-sign Klay Thompson. I will say that unequivocally."

Thompson is entering the fourth and final year of the $9.7 million contract he signed with Golden State when he left Washington State after his junior season of 2010-11. The 6-foot-7 guard is set to make $3.1 million next season. Marcus Thompson projects a new deal for the former WSU star would command a $12 million annual salary.

This season, Thompson recorded career highs of 18.4 points per game, 44.4 percent shooting from the field and 41.7 percent shooting from 3-point range. He been invited to the U.S. national team mini-camp July 22-25 in Las Vegas.

WASHINGTON STATE's baseball team wraps up the season with a weekend series against visiting Arizona State.

The Pac-12 Networks televise games at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m. (Saturday's game will be only on Pac-12 Washington and Pac-12 Arizona.) Sunday's noon contest will be broadcast on local radio and www.wsucougars.com.

The Cougars (23-28, 13-14 Pac-12) have lost four of five and are tied for sixth with Stanford. WSU can finish as high as fifth (USC is 14-13 in league play).

The Sun Devils (31-21, 17-10) have won seven straight. ASU is tied for third with Oregon and likely headed to the NCAA tournament.

Arizona State leads the Pac-12 with a .285 batting average, but the Sun Devils are last in fielding at .963 and have a so-so earned run average of 3.80. First baseman Nathaniel Causey leads a balanced offense with a .324 batting average.

WSU's only .300 hitters are third baseman Nick Tanielu (.332) and catcher-outfielder Collin Slaybaugh (.303).

THE PRO BASKETBALL season has come to an end for three more former Cougar hoopers playing overseas.

Forward Brock Motum averaged 8.6 points and 3.6 rebounds as a rookie pro in Italy. Point guard Derrick Low averaged 10.3 points and 5.8 assists in Turkey. Shooting guard Marcus Moore bounced around a bit this season, but wound up in Israel, where he averaged 22.6 points in seven games.

FORMER WSU LINEBACKER Alex Hoffman-Ellis has signed with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League. The Lions are based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Hoffman-Ellis has spent time with the NFL's St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers since finishing at WSU in 2011, but the hard-hitting linebacker has yet to play in an NFL game.

The Lions are scheduled to begin play June 13, but there is a possibility of a player strike.

THE WSU WOMEN'S CREW will compete at the NCAA Championships for the second straight year, and the fourth time in five years.

"I think we're a Top 10 (finisher)," coach Jane LaRiviere said.

Twenty-two teams compete May 30-June 1 in Indianapolis. WSU finished sixth at the Pac-12 Championships, but six of the 11 at-large berths at nationals went to Pac-12 teams. Oregon State was the only Pac-12 women's team left out of nationals.

The Cougars' best finish at nationals was fourth in 2006.

THE COUGARS are no longer a national power in track and field, but retiring coach Rick Sloan said he's "given Washington State everything that I had" during his 41 years with the Cougars.

Sloan was saluted at a reception and reunion held last weekend at WSU during the Pac-12 Championships. WSU's women finished eighth and the men ninth, but the ever-optimistic Sloan said, "For the most part, we performed spectacular."

The Cougars never won an outdoor conference team title during Sloan's 20 years as head coach of the men and women, but former athletes returned to campus to sing the praises of Sloan as a person.

"He's the greatest man," running great Bernard Lagat said.

Sloan said he wished "we could have had more success," but he said his relationships with his athletes and his impact on their lives is "something that means more to me than a championship. It makes you think your career and your life were worthwhile."

A replacement for Sloan has yet to be named.

IN OTHER baseball news, Clayton Truex, who redshirted as a freshman at WSU before going on to play four years for NCAA Division III power Linfield of McMinnville, Ore., hopes to help the Wildcats win the D3 national championship for the second straight year.

Linfield debuts at the national tournament Friday in Appleton, Wis. Truex, a first baseman who is drawing interest from pro scouts, is batting .347 with four home runs and a team-high 43 RBIs for the top-ranked Wildcats (37-7).

FORMER WSU graduate assistant coach Nick Lucey has been named head football coach at Squalicum, a Class 2A high school in Bellingham.

Lucey served as offensive coordinator at NCAA Division II Simon Fraser in suburban Vancouver, B.C., last season. He lost his job after one season when there was a change of head coaches.

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