Jake Heaps reacts to new OC hires for UW Huskies, WSU Cougars

Dec 7, 2021, 12:26 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2021, 3:01 pm
WSU UW Huskies Jayden de Laura...
WSU QB Jayden de Laura is tackled out of bounds in the Apple Cup against the UW Huskies on Nov.26. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With both the UW Huskies and WSU Cougars solidifying their head football coach positions in late November, the programs have moved on to settling the rest of their coaching staffs.

WSU Cougars headed to Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 vs Miami

In recent days, that has meant the hiring of new offensive coordinators for both schools. On Monday, Washington announced that Ryan Grubb will follow new UW coach Kalen DeBoer to Montlake from Fresno State, while multiple reports on Sunday stated that a pair of former WSU assistants under Mike Leach, Eric Morris and Clay McGuire, will return to Pullman to join head coach Jake Dickert’s staff as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, respectively.

Tuesday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy, former college and NFL quarterback Jake Heaps shared his thoughts on the hires by the two in-state rivals.

Grubb was expected to join DeBoer with the Huskies, though there was a little speculation that he could be DeBoer’s successor as Fresno State head coach. Heaps said it’s a good sign that UW will have Grubb, who was also DeBoer’s associate head coach the past three seasons, on its sideline.

“You keep the band together and you understand what each other’s strengths are. (They) understand how they work together,” Heaps said. “Kalen DeBoer has a sounding board in Ryan Grubb so it makes a lot of sense to me. I think it’s the appropriate hire.”

Under Grubb and DeBoer, Fresno State led the Mountain West in total offense (463.6 yards per game) and was second in both scoring offense (33.6 points per game) and passing offense (330.1 yards per game) this year.

As for the Cougars, their moves signal a switch back to the Air Raid offense that was so successful under Leach after a couple of seasons employing the run and shoot brought to Pullman by previous head coach Nick Rolovich.

“For Jake Dickert to go out and hire Eric Morris, it’s a unique hire. They go back to the well of Mike Leach,” Heaps said. “Eric Morris had tremendous success at (Division I FCS Incarnate Word) as he took over the head coaching duties there (in 2018). … He led them to the playoffs and nearly upset No. 1 Sam Houston State, so incredible job there, showed his coaching chops. And now he’s gonna get an opportunity to run the show offensively.

“I’ll be curious to see how they make that transition. They did it effectively under Rolo from going Air Raid to run and shoot, now they’re going to go back to the Air Raid. They also hired the offensive line coach (McGuire) that was there under Mike Leach, which I think was a crucial hire. So far, I like what they’re doing offensively. I think both programs have made good decisions with their offensive coordinator hires.”

You can hear Heaps’ full thoughts in the Four-Down Territory segment, which airs during the 11 a.m. hour every weekday on Jake and Stacy, when the podcast is made available at 3 p.m. at this link. Jake and Stacy airs live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on 710 ESPN Seattle.

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