WSU Confirms O-line Coach Opening

I guess the worst-kept secret in the WSU universe is finally out there, as WSU has now confirmed that offensive line coach Harold Etheridge will not have his contract renewed.  No surprise to many of you who have been following the situation over the last few weeks, so, now it’s official.

Where do the Cougs turn?  How about the picture above as a perfect replacement?  Yes, Jim Michalczik can be a name in the mix if you want to go there.  Michalczik was a linemate of Paul Wulff on that fine 1988 Aloha Bowl champion Cougar team.  But he really carved out a name for himself as an excellent offensive line coach, mainly at Cal but now with the Oakland Raiders (note – speculation has been that the entire Raiders coaching staff will be fired after Sunday’s games, but as of now, Michalczik is still a member of the Raiders staff).  Plus, well….there’s the whole UW thing, where he took a coaching gig with the Huskies for a very short time under Steve Sarkisian before bolting to Oakland.  But I think we can look past that, can’t we?? 

And, finally, money.  If Michalczik is even interested, well, how much would they have to pay the guy to come home to Pullman?  His deal with UW was for three years, $350,000 per year, which would be fairly expensive for WSU’s tastes.  He might be at too high a pay grade when it’s all said and done.

Other names floated by both Grippi and Cougfan include Keith Gilbertson, Steve Morton, and even Jason McEndoo, former Coug o-linemen who was part of the “fat five” of the 1998 Rose Bowl glory and now coaches at Montana State.  Grippi pours water on the Gilbertson idea, but does confirm that WSU has already talked to Morton. 

Meanwhile, our own Longball weighed in yesterday with a darkhorse candidate on Idaho’s current O-line coach, Dan Finn.  You can check out Finn’s bio here.  Hard to argue with Idaho’s results this year, averaging over 450 yards of total offense, good for 10th in the country.  Finn looks like a badass too!  :)

We’ll see if any other names are thrown against the wall to see if they stick, but at least for now the rumors can cease – the offensive line coaching position is officially open!  Hopefully they can fill it shortly after the new year.

All for now.  GO COUGS!