NEW HIRE: Doba picks a legend to replace Skip

WITH KELLY SKIPPER'S MOVE to the Oakland Raiders, Cougar head man Bill Doba moved swiftly to fill the vacancy on his staff, targeting no less than a WSU legend. Steve Broussard, one of the most prolific ground gainers and pass catchers in WSU history, will be the Cougars' new running backs coach. "Excited, elated - it's going to be good to be back at home," Broussard told CF.C this morning.

Broussard applied for the job four years ago when Skipper, an old friend of his, was hired. "I expressed an interest in the job at the 2003 Rose Bowl -- Coach Doba said he would love to have me but that he needed someone with recruiting experience." At the time, Broussard was four years removed from his long NFL career and working as head coach at Diamond Ranch High in Pomona, Calif.

"I kept in touch with Coach Doba from that point on and he's gotten to know me as a man, not as the 20-year-old kid I was when he came to WSU (in 1989)," Broussard said.

Skipper himself is in no small way responsible for Broussard landing the position he's always wanted.


STEVE BROUSSARD SPENT NINE YEARS IN THE NFL AFTER BEING CHOSEN IN THE FIRST ROUND BY THE ATLANTA FALCONS COMING OUT OF WASHINGTON STATE.

The two played against each other in college and renewed acquaintances when Broussard was playing for the Seahawks and Skipper was interning with the club during camps and clinics. They communicated over the years, so when Skipper heard that Portland State was looking for a running backs coach a few years back he phoned Broussard to let him him know his chance to break into the college ranks might be in the Pacific Northwest after all.

Yesterday, when Doba called Broussard to gauge his interest in coming to Pullman, there were no concerns about recruiting experience because Broussard's been on the trail for PSU for the last four years as running backs coach and, most recently, as receivers and special teams coach.

Broussard said he will have some responsibilities with special teams at WSU, but will not be the assistant coordinating those units. At PSU he oversaw kickoff coverage, the punt return team, punt team gunners and kickoff returners.

Asked his response to Doba when queried about the idea of coming back to the Palouse, Broussard chuckled and said his reply was succinct: "Without a doubt."

Doba's timing was perfect. Montana was flying Broussard in for an interview on Saturday.

He plans to start work at WSU next week.

Selling WSU to potential recruits will be no problem for Broussard. He said he fell in love with Pullman the first time him set foot in town. "I was from South Central Los Angeles and arrived in Pullman with snow on the ground -- I had never seen snow before except on TV. I wanted to get out of LA, away from the big city. I didn't want to worry when I went out at night."

He chose WSU over Nebraska.

Broussard said his biggest strength as a coach is motivating players. "My motto is firm, fair and flexible," he said. "I think I relate well to players and keep the lines of communication open. I also think my background carries credibility with them. "I'm a hard worker and believe in the fundamentals of the game," he added. "I'm really looking forward to working with those young backs and helping get WSU back to a BCS game."

A graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, Broussard starred at WSU from 1987-89. He led the Pac-10 in receiving as a sophomore and rushing as a junior. In 1995, the 100th anniversary of WSU football, a panel of experts picked him to the all-time Cougar backfield along with Reuben Mayes and Keith Lincoln.

Broussard was the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 1990 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and spent nine seasons in the NFL with Atlanta, Cincinnati and the Seattle Seahawks from 1995-98.

Broussard spent four years coaching high school football. He was the offensive coordinator at Don Lugo High in Chino, Calif., before moving to Diamond Ranch as assistant head coach and then head coach.

Broussard, 40, enjoys playing golf and spending time with his kids, Talin (14) and Steve Jr. (8).

Broussard will become the sixth former Cougar player on staff, joining Mike Levenseller, Ken Greene, George Yarno, Mike Walker and Timm Rosenbach, who was the QB handing off to "Bruiser" during the 9-3, '88 campaign when WSU finished No. 16 in the nation.


STEVE BROUSSARD: APPARENTLY HE STILL SLINGS A TON OF IRON AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.


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