Wulff has three coaching slots left to fill

NEW COUGAR HEAD MAN Paul Wulff has officially named five assistants from Eastern and one from WSU, Steve Broussard, to his coaching staff. Meanwhile, speculation circles around the futures of Mike Levenseller and Timm Rosenbach. Coming with Wulff from EWU are Todd Sturdy, Travis Niekamp, Rich Rasmussen and former WSU players Jody Sears and Malik Roberson.

Position assignments have yet to be made public but it would appear certain that Sturdy will be offensive coordinator and Sears, a Pullman High grad, will be defensive coordinator.

Three assistant spots remain to be filled and while there remains the possibility another current assistant could be named to a post, Leon Burtnett (DB, LB), Marty Long (DE), Greg Peterson (TE, RC), Mike Walker (DT), David Walkosky (CB, ST) and George Yarno (OL) will not return. Indeed, the Seattle PI reported that those six are definitely out.

Those six, plus Levenseller and Rosenbach, remain under contract to Washington State and would continue to be paid under terms of those contracts.

The PI cites George Yarno as saying Levenseller or Rosenbach may stay on as the wide receivers coach. If that ends up being the case, Levy would seem a logical choice given he has coached to acclaim the receivers at Washington State since 1992. Levenseller has been the Cougars' offensive coordinator since 2001 under Mike Price, holding the same post under Doba when he took the Cougar helm before the 2003 season.

But the PI story characterizes Levenseller as "hanging on to his WSU coaching career by his fingertips" and quotes Yarno as saying of Levy, after a one-on-one meeting with Wulff on Wednesday, that Levenseller "was pretty down."

"We still have three assistant coaching positions to fill and will take our time to ensure we have the best people in place to move the program forward," Wulff said in a release by the school.

Last night on KJR radio with Ian Furness, Wulff said he did not want to rush the decisions, will focus on recruiting as the top priority and would expect to fill the remaining three positions and finalize his staff in a week or two.

Sturdy recently completed his first season as EWU's offensive coordinator and installed a no huddle attack that Wulff has said the Cougars will utilize this coming season. In his press conference Tuesday, Wulff said not to expect to see the Cougars in the huddle at all, not in drills or practice let alone games. Prior to EWU, Sturdy spent 12 seasons as head coach at NAIA St. Ambrose in Iowa, where he compiled an 85-40 record, the school's winningest coach, with five league titles. Sturdy is a St. Ambrose graduate and played quarterback there from 1987-90.

Sears played wide receiver at Washington State and was a teammate of Wulff. He has served on Wulff's EWU staff the past five seasons as defensive coordinator, and has worked with defensive ends, linebackers and safeties during his Eagles' career. Prior to joining Wulff in Cheney in 2003, Sears spent three seasons on the defensive staff at the United States Military Academy.

Niekamp joined Wulff's EWU staff in 2004 as linebackers coach, serving the previous four years as tight ends coach at the United States Military Academy. Three of those seasons were spent coaching with fellow Cougar assistant Sears. Niekamp's coaching resume also includes two seasons at Illinois State, his alma mater, coaching defensive tackles in '98 and outside linebackers in '99.

Rasmussen has spent the past nine seasons at Eastern, most recently working with tight ends and serving as the team's director of football operations. Rasmussen began his EWU coaching career in '96, working as a student assistant on defense before working with the offensive line the following season. In '98, he coached running backs before becoming tight ends coach in 1999.

Roberson lined up as a linebacker and defensive lineman at Washington State during the 1990 and 1991 seasons. A Northwest native who graduated from Lewis and Clark High in Spokane, he too has spent the last eight seasons on the Eagle coaching staff, the last six as defensive line coach.

Broussard completed his first season as Washington State's running backs coach in 2007. His recruiting area for the Cougs has been Los Angeles. Broussard played for WSU from 1986-89 and ranks second on the career rushing list with 3,054 yards and first on the career touchdowns list with 33. Broussard coached at Portland State from 2004-06, serving as the running backs coach for one season and the wide receivers coach for two seasons. In 2004 when he was coaching running backs, Portland State led the Big Sky in rushing at 204.4 yards per game.

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