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Northwest Notes: Oct. 23, 2021

| October 23, 2021 1:06 AM

WSU announces football coaching staff updates

PULLMAN — Washington State acting head football coach Jake Dickert announced updates to his coaching staff Friday.

WSU has added a pair of run-n-shoot coaching veterans to the staff as Dan Morrison will serve as the Cougars quarterbacks coach and Dennis McKnight will coach the offensive line.

Cougar Edge’s coach A.J. Cooper will also coach defensive tackles and now oversee the entire defensive line, offensive analyst Dan Ferrigno has moved into a fulltime coaching position as an offensive assistant coach and defensive analyst Jordan Malone has moved into a fulltime coaching position working with the cornerbacks.

“We are fortunate that Dan and Dennis have joined our staff as their experience and leadership will provide great benefit as we go forward,” Dickert said in a school news release. “Both coaches are very familiar with our offensive schemes and will be tremendous resources and teachers for our players.

“We also appreciate the efforts of A.J., Dan and Jordan to take on additional roles,” Dickert added. “Our entire staff has stepped up this week to benefit the program.”

Morrison owns 20 years of coaching experience, including seven seasons at SMU (2008-14) coaching quarterbacks and nine seasons at Hawaii (1999-2007). Following SMU, Morrison coached with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 2017-18 and later with the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks in 2019.

Morrison produced all-conference performers in five of his nine seasons at Hawaii, mentoring NCAA all-time passing leader Timmy Chang and NCAA all-time touchdown pass leader Colt Brennan. In 2004, Chang made NCAA history by becoming the all-time passing leader with 17,072 yards, and in 2007, Brennan, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy race, broke 29 NCAA records, including passing touchdowns in a season (58) and career (131).

McKnight joins the Cougars after working the 2020 season as an offensive assistant and the special teams coach of the Houston Roughnecks and the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Prior to coaching in the CFL, McKnight coached the offensive line and special teams at Lamar (2012-13) and the running backs for the Edmonton Eskimos (2011). McKnight also coached three seasons at SMU (2008-10) and previously coached special teams at Hawaii, helping the Warriors have one of the top special teams units in the nation in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007.

McKnight played collegiately at Drake and later played 11 seasons in the NFL, including eight with the San Diego Chargers, two with the Detroit Lions and one with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was an alternate for the Pro Bowl in 1988 when he was a member of the San Diego Chargers.

Holmgren named to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch List

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Freshman Chet Holmgren, who could play just about any position on the floor for Gonzaga, on Friday was named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch List, which honors the nation's top college center.

After being a part of a fourth state championship team, Holmgren was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated All-American Player of the Year, MaxPreps National Player of the Year, and a McDonald's All-American.

The 7-footer averaged 21 points and 12.3 rebounds per game during his senior season while leading the Redhawks to the Class 3A state championship. He added 4.7 blocks and 4.5 assists while shooting 80 percent from the field in 2020-21. He finished his prep career with 1,567 points, 964 rebounds and 456 blocked shots while helping Minnehaha Academy compile a 128-15 record during his time with the program.

Luka Garza of Iowa won the Abdul-Jabbar award the last two seasons.

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