Monday brought with it some disconcerting news for the Washington State football program. Oregon's new head coach Willie Taggart is poaching Cougs' defensive line coach Joe Salave'a.
The news was first reported by Aaron Fentress of CSN Northwest, and has since been confirmed by multiple outlets, including the Seattle Times and COUGFan.com
This a huge loss for WSU, especially with him jumping to a Pac-12 North rival. Salave'a has been on staff since Mike Leach arrived, and was promoted to Assistant Head Coach in 2015. Aside from doing a stellar job with the Cougars' defensive front, he is a key recruiter. The native of American Samoa has made the area an important part of the program's talent base.
What makes the move interesting is the fact that it is in essence a lateral move. Salave'a is not taking a coordinator job, instead taking over the defensive line in Eugene
Perhaps his most important understudy seemed to provide further confirmation of the move. WSU star defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa tweeted Monday night in anticipation of his program's meeting with his former coach's new team in 2017.
© 2018 KREM-TV