There just may be a new linebackers coach heading to town and his name is Ken Wilson. Rumored on Tuesdat this week, Mario Cristobal is expected to hire Wilson from Washington State University to fill the void former Oregon outside linebackers coach Cort Dennison (now to Louisville) left behind.
Bruce Feldman was the first to report.
If Cristobal was looking for somebody with experience, boy will he get it. Wilson spent 19 years of his coaching career with the University of Nevada before making his way north to Pullman, WA where he spent the last six seasons with the Cougars on Mike Leach’s staff. He also has experience coaching the defensive line and secondary.
In the 2018 season, the Cougars lead the Pac-12 conference in sacks (38), yards lost on sacks (270), and fumbles recovered (11). Wilson coached redshirt-freshman Jahad Woods who was recognized by SB Nation on the Pac-12 All-Freshman First Team while redshirt-freshman Justus Rogers was a second-team selection, according to his bio on the team’s website.
Wilson would be the third coach that the Ducks have hired away from Washington State: defensive line coach Joe Salave’a in 2017 and running backs coach Jim Mastro in 2018.
Current Oregon linebacker roster:
One of the biggest keys during any coaching transition is the current roster. Inside linebacker Troy Dye is returning for his senior year and alongside him stands junior outside linebacker La’Mar Winston Jr.. Two (now) seniors that have lots of familiarity playing with one another should make for a smoother transition for Wilson as well as inside linebackers coach Jim Leavitt.
Along with Winston Jr., the Ducks’ depth at outside linebacker consists of sophomore D.J. Johnson, sophomore Keith Simms, freshmen Andrew Johnson Jr., Anthony Booker, and bringing in four-star recruit Mase Funa.