Wulff completes staff, makes assignments

PAUL WULFF tabbed his offensive line coach on Monday and also announced that he will have two defensive coordinators. Harold Etheridge, a 19-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, will be in charge of the Cougar hosses, while Chris Ball and Jody Sears will share defensive coordinator duties.

With the hiring of Etheridge, first-year WSU coach Wulff completed his coaching staff.

On defense, Sears will be co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach. Ball will be assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

Travis Niekamp will coach linebackers and Malik Roberson will coach the d-line.

On the other side of the ball, Todd Sturdy will serve as offensive coordinator and work with quarterbacks. Steve Broussard will be the running backs coach; Mike Levenseller with receivers; and Rich Rasmussen will serve the duel role of tights ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

Yet to be announced are the special teams assignments and whether one coach will handle duties or if the units will be spread among the coaches. At Eastern under Wulff, Niekamp was the special teams coordinator.

Etheridge comes to WSU from Northern Illinois, where he was OL coach.

"Harold brings a tremendous amount of experience and has previously worked with some of our coaches on staff," said Wulff. "He comes highly recommended as a football coach, teacher and recruiter. Harold brings a great deal to our staff and will fit in very nicely."

Etheridge is no stranger to members of the Cougar staff, having served alongside current Cougar assistants Sears and Niekamp while all three were on Todd Berry's staff at Army. Etheridge spent four seasons as the Black Knights' offensive line coach (2000-03), where in 2001 and 2002 Army led Conference USA in fewest sacks allowed.

Prior to Northern Illinois, Etheridge spent three seasons as the offensive line coach at North Texas. During his first season the Mean Green led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked 23rd nationally in rushing offense at 196.3 yards per game. In 2005, the offensive line ranked among the league leaders in fewest sacks allowed. North Texas linemen earned five All-Conference honors in his three seasons at the school.

Over his career, Etheridge has coached four All-Americans, 10 all-conference performers and two players currently on NFL rosters.

The Gallup, N.M., native began his Division I coaching career in 1989 at Kentucky, where he spent three seasons and a graduate assistant working with the offensive tackles.

Etheridge, 48, was a four-year starting offensive guard for Western New Mexico (1979-82), garnering all-conference honors after his junior and senior seasons. Following graduation, Etheridge spent two seasons as the offensive line coach at Western New Mexico in 1982 and 1983. He earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and management from the school in 1982.

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