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Washington State Hires Former Minnesota Head Coach Tracy Claeys

General view of Martin Stadium.

PULLMAN, WA - OCTOBER 9: General view of the game between the Washington State University Cougars and the University of Oregon Ducks on October 9 2004 at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington. The Ducks won 41-38. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

After a controversial end to his tenure at Minnesota, former Gophers head coach Tracy Claeys has been hired at Washington State.

Tracy Claeys took over after health issues forced Jerry Kill to step away from the program, and coached the team to an 11-8 record over two seasons. The Gophers were 9-4 in his full year as head coach in 2016.

He was fired after clashing with the Minnesota administration following a sexual assault scandal within the program late that season.

Now, he is joining Mike Leach's staff at Washington State as defensive coordinator.

From Wazzu's release:

"Tracy comes highly recommended as a tremendous teacher, strategist, and a player's coach with an impressive body of work that has withstood the test of time," said Leach. "We are fortunate to have him at Washington State University."


"I would like to thank Coach Leach and Washington State University for the opportunity to coach the Cougs!" said Claeys. "I am looking forward to getting to Pullman, working with a great staff and getting to know the players."

Claeys takes over for Alex Grinch, who jumped to take over as co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Grinch turned one of college football's worst defenses into an asset for the Cougars last season.

This will be Claeys's first FBS coaching stop outside of the Midwest. After a stint as Northern Illinois defensive coordinator, the Kansas State alumnus joined Minnesota's staff in the same role in 2011.

[Washington State]