Looks like the Washington State Cougars have found their new pack leader.
Hawai’i Coach Nick Rolovich will fill the vacancy that head coach Mike Leach left behind.
BREAKING Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich is expected to become the new head coach at #WAZZU, per sources.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 14, 2020
Rolovich subtly subtweeted his hiring as the Cougs head coach.
Leach, who coached the Cougars for eight seasons, has left the Pac-12 and is headed for the SEC as the next head coach at Mississippi State.
While we’ll miss greatly all the Leach-mannerisms, the quotable moments, the break downs of which Pac-12 mascots would come out on top in a fight or why Autzen Stadium reminds him of Middle Earth, the Cougars have also moved on.
Welcome to the Rolovich era in Pullman, Washington.
Statement from Athletics Director David Matlin. pic.twitter.com/xfwJXp2XWt— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) January 14, 2020
Similar to Leach, Rolovich ran an air-raid style offense known for running up the scoreboard. In his five-year tenure with the Rainbow Warriors, Rolovich held a 28-27 record, three bowl appearances and recently a 2020 Hawai’i Bowl win over BYU, 38-34.
According to Hawai’i Football’s website: Under Rolovich’s guidance and Cole McDonald at quaterback, the UH offense racked up over 5,800 yards of offense, along with 43 touchdown passes. The aerial assualt accounted for 30.8 points per game and 419 yards per contest. The production led the Warriors returning to the Hawai‘i Bowl for a second time under Rolovich, finishing with an 8-6 record.
HOW THIS IMPACTS OREGON, THE PAC-12
Another WSU head coach, another air raid attack. The PAC-12 has seen this style offense for eight seasons now with Leach at the helm. This year against Oregon, the Ducks edged the Cougars in Eugene 37-35 and held Washington State and quarterback Anthony Gordon to 446 yards (under his per game average) as well as picked Gordon off twice.
It also helps that 99% of Oregon’s starters on defense will return next season as juniors Thomas Graham Jr., Deommodore Lenoir, Jordon Scott and Austin Faoliu announced they would all forgo the NFL draft and return to Oregon for their senior year. The Ducks lose just Troy Dye, a big loss with big shoes left behind to fill, but the Ducks may have the right pieces to do just that.
Oregon will travel up to Pullman, Washington to face the Cougars in 2020.
Hawai'i defeated Arizona 45-38 and OSU 31-28 this past season. He's proven he can beat big time programs and be a formidable opponent.