Wulff's new DB coach a familiar face

NEW COUGAR HEAD MAN Paul Wulff is expected to announce he is turning to a BCS conference veteran -- as well as a WSU veteran -- to coach the Cougar secondary. The new staffer's resume of former players reads like a who's who of defensive back greats, with Lamont Thompson, Jason David, Erik Coleman and Marcus Trufant among his esteemed pupils.

Chris Ball will be returning to Pullman as the new secondary coach at Washington State under Wulff, Pac-10 sources have told Cougfan.com.

Ball was the defensive backs coach for the Cougs from 2000-02. Prior to that, he spent the 1989-90 seasons at WSU as a graduate assistant working with the cornerbacks. During the 2001 campaign under Ball, the Cougs intercepted a school-record 26 passes, led by Thompson, an All-America free safety. Thompson finished his collegiate career as Washington State's all-time interceptions leader with 24.

Trufant was an eventual first round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks. Coleman became a full-time Jets starting safety as a rookie and has been a stalwart in the secondary, starting 49 of 64 games. David has a Super Bowl ring during his tenure with the Colts where he started 43 of 48 games for Indy and he now mans a starting post out on the island for the Saints.

Ball left Wazzu after the 2003 Rose Bowl to join Mike Price's staff at Alabama, staying with the Crimson Tide for four seasons (2003-06) before heading to Pittsburgh for the 2007 season. The Panthers ranked No. 4 in the nation in pass defense this past season, and No. 27 in pass efficiency.

Under Ball's tutelage at Alabama in 2004, his unit ranked first nationally in pass defense and second in pass efficiency defense, allowing just 113.1 yards per game through the air. In 2005, the Tide ranked fifth nationally in both pass defense and pass efficiency defense.

Ball was an outstanding player himself on the collegiate level, earning All-America honors as a defensive back at Missouri Western in 1985 before embarking on a college coaching career that has spanned 20 years.

Ball's additional coaching stops include Idaho State (1999, defensive coordinator/linebackers), Missouri Western (1997-98, defensive coordinator), Western Oregon State (1995-96, assistant head coach/secondary), Coffeyville (Ks.) Community College (1991-94, secondary), Washington State (1989-90, cornerbacks), Akron (1987-88, secondary/special teams) and Northeast Missouri State (1986-87, secondary).

Ball would join Steve Broussard, Mike Levenseller, Travis Niekamp, Rich Rasmussen, Malik Roberson, Jody Sears and Todd Sturdy on Wulff's staff, leaving one assistant job to be filled.

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