PULLMAN - Just last week the Washington State Cougars were informed that head football coach Mike Leach would not return for the 2020 season. After eight seasons on the Palouse, coach Leach will now steer his pirate ship down South to take over as head coach of the Mississippi State program.
With Leach's departure, the Cougars were tasked with finding a new signal caller to come in and fill the shoes of Washington State's most successful coach since Mike Price. Now, less than a week later, the Cougars seemingly have their guy.
Late Monday night the news broke on social media that former Hawaii head football coach Nick Rolovich would be taking the same position at Washington State University, becoming the 33rd coach in the history of the program. He has reportedly signed a new five year deal, worth $3 million annually.
So who is Nick Rolovich? Many Cougar fans are probably unfamiliar with the name and what he will bring to the table, so let's take a look at three things you should know about new Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich:
Offense is His Strong Suit - Rolovich will come in and implement his 'Run and Shoot' style offense on the Palouse. The Run and Shoot is a system that emphasizes motion by the wide receivers pre-snap to help put the offense in adventagous matchups, and also helps make recognizing defenses easier for the quarterback. It is more of a balanced approach, with Hawaii throwing the ball on 63% of its plays in 2019. Compare that to the over 80% rate under coach Leach in the air raid, and it seems as if running back Max Borghi could benefit the most from this hire.
2019 MWC Coach of the Year - Rolovich was recently named as the 2019 Mountain West Coach of the Year after winning ten games including a 38-34 win in the Hawaii Bowl over BYU. It was the first time a Hawaii head coach was named to that honor.
Playing Experience - Rolovich's experience on the field goes beyond just wearing the headset on the sidelines. He quarterbacked at the University of Hawaii back in 2001 where he threw for over 3,300 yards in nine games, including three straight 500 yard games. He also spent time in NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire. In 2003, he even helped lead the Fire to World Bowl XI. He also spend time in the Arena Football League with the San Jose SaberCats, Arizona Rattlers, Chicago Rush and Las Vegas Gladiators.
A formal introduction and press conference from the school has not yet been scheduled.