Breaking News
More () »

Who could take over as WSU's next head football coach after Nick Rolovich's firing?

KREM 2 Sports Director Brenna Greene shares her top five picks for WSU's next football coach after Rolovich was fired after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Like it or not, WSU is in the market for a new head football coach after the firing of Nick Rolovich, who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  

This, like everything else that's been associated with Nick Rolovich over the last few months, will be a drawn out process. I don't see a world in which a new head coach is hired until after the regular season ends in November.

Two things I want to get out of the way before we dive into my top five candidates:

  1. Jake Dickert will get a look if this team continues to win. 
  2. I don't see a world in which former WSU defensive coordinator and current Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch comes back to Pullman. He was a popular pick a few years ago, and didn't come then, so why now?


The hottest name today has been Texas Assistant Head Coach, Special Teams Coordinator, and Tight Ends Coach Jeff Banks. 

According to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, there are some influential people in WSU's athletic department who are pushing for Banks. He's a WSU alum and a former WSU assistant coach. 

He's also highly regarded as a recruiter and used to be on Alabama's staff.


If you're a team in the Pac-12 who has an opening, you'd be a fool to not at least approach Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. 

A few weeks ago, Moorhead wasn't present at Oregon's loss at Stanford due to needing emergency surgery, and his absence was absolutely felt as the Ducks were upset by the Cardinal. 

Moorhead did have some issues with discipline when he was the head coach at Mississippi State. That included a fight that broke out at practice that injured his starting quarterback so severely that he couldn't start in Mississippi State's bowl game. Ten players also missed eight games due to academic fraud involving a tutor.

Who replaced Moorhead at Mississippi State? None other than Mike Leach.


Now we will head into the Mountain West contingent. 

We'll start first with San Jose State's Brent Brennan. 

Brennan led a perennial bottom of the barrel program in the Mountain West to the conference title last season and was a finalist for the Arizona head coaching job last year. 

Brennan is just 3-4 this season though, so that's something to keep an eye on. 

At the end of the day, Brennan knows how to get a program with not as many resources to the top, and that is key in a place like Pullman.


DeBoer is the head coach of Fresno State University and had a big upset this year at UCLA. 

DeBoer, like Moorhead, is known for his brilliant offensive mind, and DeBoer, like Brennan, is a pro at overcoming circumstances. 

He began his career in the NAIA ranks and has been an offensive coordinator at Southern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, and Indiana. Hardly college football juggernauts.


The Nevada Head Coach has had an excellent last two seasons for the Wolf Pack and beat Boise State in Boise this season. 

He's 5-1 so far this year, with his lone loss being to Kansas State. 

Norvell is 58, so he may be looking for a place to settle down and make one last coaching stop. 

He's a vet in the coaching ranks as he's coached at Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, Wisconsin and Arizona State.

I also personally know Norvell as I covered him his first year at Nevada. It wasn't a great year win-wise for him, but he was always kind and had great character.

Another fun fact about Norvell: His offensive coordinator is Matt Mumme, son of Hal Mumme. Hal created the Air Raid offense, which Leach ran in Pullman.

Before You Leave, Check This Out