Inside WRs coach candidate met with Mike Leach this week in Pullman, sources tell CF.C; coached with trio of WSU assistants over his career

MIKE LEACH might be close to hiring his new inside receivers coach. Multiple sources tell that Leach interviewed a longtime receivers coach in Pullman earlier this week. And his coaching career has overlapped with not one, not two but three Wazzu assistants.

Derek Sage just completed his third season in charge of Toledo's wide receivers but before that, he coached at New Hampshire with Alex Grinch (and Chip Kelly).   Plus, Grinch's stint at Wyoming also overlapped with Sage's in Laramie.

Sage also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Nevada when Ken Wilson and Jim Mastro were on the Wolfpack staff.

Fox's Bruce Feldman tweeted Thursday night Sage is expected to become the new inside receivers coach at WSU. Former WSU inside receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard left this month for Purdue,where he was reunited with former Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm.
The Sage File
2014-16 Toledo - Wide Receivers
2010-13 Wyoming - Wide Receivers
2005-09 New Hampshire - Wide Receivers
2003-04 Nevada - Graduate Assistant

Toledo (9-4) might have been a run-based offense in 2016 (484 rushes to 397 passing attempts) but it still racked up 3,949 passing yards and led the Mid-American conference in receiving hashes. The Rockets had three wide receivers under Sage who caught at least 38 passes this season, and two who caught 10 touchdown passes. The Toledo running backs were also involved in the passing game, it's leading rusher was also the fourth-leading receiver (41 catches).  

Toledo lost its bowl game to Appalachian State this past Saturday but junior WR Cody Thompson's five catches for 99 yards gave him 1,269 on the season, breaking the Toledo program record that had stood since 2003. Toldeo has won at least nine games each of the last three seasons. 

At New Hampshire, Sage coached All-American David Ball , the FCS leader in career TD receptions (58) and UNH's career leader in receptions (304) and receiving yards (4,655). Sage also coached UNH's second-leading receiver in Keith LeVan (201 catches).  Among the receivers Sage mentored at Wyoming who set records and earned recognition: Robert Herron, Chris McNeill and David Leonard.

RELATED STORY: Assistant JaMarcus Shephard leaving after one season

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