PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University has named Nick Rolovich as the Cougars new head football coach after the departure of Mike Leach to Mississippi State.

The school officially announced the move on Tuesday, although reports were being made on Monday about Rolovich's hiring.

"We set a goal of bringing the best coach possible to Washington State University," said WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun. "Nick Rolovich is a genuine person, a program builder, an innovator and the exact fit to lead Cougar Football. Coach Rolovich is committed to academic achievement and developing every aspect of our student-athletes. He has a vision of taking Cougar Football on a path to win championships."

Rolovich has spent the last eight seasons with the University of Hawaii, serving as head coach for the last four years. Before Hawaii, he was the University of Nevada's offensive coordinator and spent two years as quarterbacks coach at City College of San Francisco.

Rolovich is the Cougars 33rd head football coach, according to the university. The contract is for five years, and Rolovich will be introduced on Thursday.

"I'd like to thank President Schulz and Pat for the opportunity and the trust they have put in me to lead these young men," Rolovich is quoted as saying in the press release. "Not only on the football field, but we truly believe we are raising tomorrow's husbands, fathers and community leaders. The excitement is real and it's honest."

He also said he appreciated the work Leach had done to get the program to where is is today.

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