Bumpus: Why WSU made right call giving Jake Dickert the HC job
The WSU Cougars underwent some major shuffling on the coaching staff this season after head coach Nick Rolovich and multiple assistants were fired as they did not get vaccinated for COVID-19, thus violating Washington state guidelines for state employees.
With Rolovich out, defensive coordinator Jake Dickert took over as interim head coach with the WSU Cougars sitting at 4-3. After dropping their first game under Dickert to BYU, the Cougars won three of their final four games, including a resounding 40-13 win over rival UW in the Apple Cup, which was WSU’s first win over its in-state rivals since 2012.
Shortly after that win, which gave the Cougars a 7-5 regular season record, WSU removed the interim label and named Dickert the full-time head coach.
2021 was Dickert’s second year with the program as he came to WSU to serve as Rolovich’s defensive coordinator starting in 2020.
Former star WSU receiver Michael Bumpus was one of many Cougar fans and alumni who was thrilled to see Dickert get the full-time gig.
“Yeah man, I think that’s the right move,” Bumpus told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show Thursday morning. “I mean, the guy’s been at WSU for a couple years, he has his defense playing crazy – 27 takeaways, that’s (tied for fifth-most) in the country. He’s got the defense flying around. He’s allowing (quarterback Jayden) de Laura to kind of be himself out there. I think it fits.”
Bumpus told Salk that the head coach at WSU need to “understand what WSU is all about” in terms of recruiting and the type of players that fit.
“There’s a certain type of player that we’re going to get and you have to develop your offensive and defense around,” Bumpus said.
The last two head coaches at WSU – Rolovich and Mike Leach – haven’t lacked in the personality department, and Bumpus said Dickert has some personality as well, which he feels is necessary to be successful in Pullman.
“Most definitely. And he’s young – he’s 38 years old. He can talk to these kids,” Bumpus said.
While Rolovich’s WSU tenure was short and didn’t end on the best note, Bumpus said he did a great job at connecting with “Coug Nation” and also recruiting in-state high schoolers, which Leach didn’t do. He said that Dickert learned a lot from Rolovich in that regard.
“Leach was like, ‘Look man, I’m the guy and this is how we’re gonna do it. We’re recruiting out of state, I don’t need to talk to anybody, I’m just gonna be Leach.’ And he had success doing it,” he said. “That works for Leach, but for the next guy coming up, I mean, you have to really bleed this. He’s got some swagger. He’s young enough. Yeah, I’m excited for him.”
Listen to the third hour of Thursday’s Mike Salk Show at this link or in the player below.