PULLMAN — Washington State football fans wanted heads to roll after another dismal season. Their wish was granted one day after the Apple Cup loss to Washington. The Cougars announced Sunday that defensive coordinator-defensive backs coach Mike Breske and outside linebackers coach Paul Volero have been fired. Eric Russell, the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator, was fired at midseason.
The Cougars also announced that popular defensive line coach Joe Saleave’a has added the title of assistant head coach.
Washington State ranks 98th of 125 Football Bowl Subdivision teams with 442.3 total yards allowed per game. The Cougars are tied for 124th in turnovers gained (8) and rank 123rd in pass defense (296.6), tied for 121st in interceptions (3), 115th in points allowed (38.6), 41st in rushing defense (145.7) and tied for 40th in quarterback sacks (2.4).
The Cougars finished 3-9 and tied Oregon State for last in the North Division of the Pac-12 Conference at 2-7. Washington State leads the nation in passing (447.7) and ranks seventh in total offense (517.5) despite ranking last in rushing (39.8) for the third time in Mike Leach’s three years as head coach.
Breske, a college assistant coach throughout his 34-year career, joined Leach’s first WSU staff after two years as Montana’s assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Volero, a longtime college and high school coach, was defensive coordinator at Key West (Fla.) High when he was hired by Leach — a Key West resident at the time — prior to the 2012 season.
Leach owns a 12-25 record (7-20 Pac-12) at Washington State, with two last-place finishes and one bowl appearance.