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With glowing ESPN feature on Cougar d-coordinator Alex Grinch by reporter who covers the SEC, has coaching carousel rumor mill begun?

ESPN REPORTER Chris Low primarily covers the SEC, according to his bio. So it's interesting that Low has a glowing piece up Friday on Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. "Any list of the top young defensive coordinators in college football would be incomplete without Alex Grinch’s name somewhere near the top," Low writes.

There are still three games left in the regular season plus a bowl game. Color us skeptics, but the planting of seeds for the December-January coaching carousel rumor mill may have already begun.

In case you're wondering, Grinch's WSU contract was extended by Bill Moos after the '15 campaign and runs through June 2018. He received a $150,000 raise this season to $575,000. His contact calls for base salary increases to $600,000 in '17, and to $625,000 in 2018. There is also a buyout clause of $500,000 if Grinch leaves WSU for another school before June 30, 2017, and $250,000 between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

For perspective, this past season the average SEC defensive coordinator's salary was nearly $900,000, with five DCs making at least $1 million. (And defense is king in the SEC: the average SEC offensive coordinator made just over $600,000).

Grinch came to WSU after three seasons as the safeties coach at Missouri, an SEC school. He has a combined six seasons at Missouri including graduate assistant years. His uncle (and former boss) is Gary Pinkel, the winningest coach in Mizzou history (191 wins, 2001-15).

Missouri's first-year defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross makes $600,000. Mizzou has struggled this season, ranking No. 116 in total defense and the Tigers have slumped to a 2-7 record under first-year head man Barry Odom..

Low's article today includes Mike Leach saying Grinch's defensive philosophies mirror his own on offense, and Grinch saying that Leach giving him autonomy to run the defense is huge.  “It’s your defense, and you can set it up, plan meetings and structure your staff any way you want," says Grinch.

Low's article also highlighted Grinch's philosophy on the power of two takeaways. You may recall CF.C's Skyler Cracraft did a great feature on that topic back in August HERE.


For the complete ESPN piece, CLICK HERE.

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