New insights emerge on WSU DC coaching search

IN THE LAST 36 hours, has talked with multiple independent sources with knowledge of the WSU defensive coordinator search, and while none divulged names of possible candidates for the job, their collective insights paint an interesting picture of where the search has been and where it's headed.

Here are the key findings:

  • There are two names in the mix that would likely be seen as a "home run hire" by the fan base. (Again, the sources declined to name names.)

  • At least two other notable names had earlier expressed high interest in the job. Before discussions could proceed to the point of an offer with either, both bowed out with new deals at, or closer to, home. One of them had been expected to be in Pullman this week for an interview but that will no longer take place.

  • WSU is not believed to have formally offered the job to anyone since the search began nearly six weeks ago, and the search has focused in large part on “high end targets.” With considerable turnover in the college coaching ranks over recent weeks, that has created possibilities -- and uncertainties -- that have kept some prime-time candidates weighing their options until more dust settles.

  • A recent published report that WSU had turned its search from veteran DCs to the "young and hungry" types was described as "off base at this point." Indeed, WSU's search criteria for the new man was described to CF.C as 1) a proven defensive coordinator at the FBS or NFL level; 2) a statistically recognized defense on a national basis; and 3) a proven ability to generate turnovers and bring pressure.

  • The timeline for making and announcing the hire is said to be next week. WSU is thought to be prepared to offer considerably more than Mike Breske made last season ($376,000).

    In trying to read the tea leaves on who the two big names might be, indicated one could be Clancy Pendergast (pictured above). “Pendergast remains in the running for Washington State’s defensive coordinator position (with a small number of others) … We hear a decision is expected in a few days,” the site reported on Thursday.

    The report also said that Ed Orgeron could become the Tigers’ next d-line coach. With CF.C sources pointing to previous FBS d-coordinator experience as highly valued, Orgeron would not appear to be one of the two. Orgeron has (surprisingly) never been a DC.

    Former Texas and Louisiana Tech DC Manny Diaz is another notable name that could have been in the mix. He just agreed to return to Mississippi State, where he was the DC before joining Mack Brown at Texas.

    Todd Orlando recently left Utah State to become the d-coordinator at Houston. Orlando’s name had been floated in previous weeks around cyberspace as a possible WSU DC candidate.

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