Washington State has never ranked highly in the recruiting rankings, even when it ended up with three consecutive top-10 national rankings from 2001-03. But coach Mike Leach might have done one of the nation's best recruiting jobs with a simple text message this winter: "Why don't you come to Key West we'll have a lot more fun."
That was Leach's text to the man who would shortly become the Cougars' new receivers coach, David Yost, per a story from CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd.
For those of you wondering who that is, Yost is only one of the nation's best offensive minds, the longtime offensive coordinator at Missouri under Gary Pinkel. He was known for his creativity, his ability to develop quarterbacks, his recruiting ability and his funky hair.
What makes Yost's story interesting -- and made him available to Washington State -- was that he bailed out on the grind at Missouri this year, citing burnout. Yep, he just upped and quit.
“I'd just gotten tired,” Yost told Dodd. “I didn't want to do it anymore.”
Some Coug fans might be worried that Yost is going to Pullman to coast, to take it easy, to work 40 hours a week. Don't bet on that. The problem at Missouri was he'd taken on too much: assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
If you're an obsessive worker, it's hard to back off or ask for less responsibility. For one, every coach is supposed to be driving hard for that next big gig, that prestige job.
Lots of folks talk about walking away, trying to spend more time with their families. For Yost, however, it was more than talk. He was willing to make a massive change in the trajectory of his life. From the story:
When her husband made the decision wife Carrie was all in for a change, said they could live on a budget. She promised to get a job if it came to that to support a family that had grown with three kids -- Kennedy, Keaton and Kamden. Friends and acquaintances were caught somewhere between wonder and praise for the coach's decision.
The consensus Yost got was, “I was impressed you were able to step away instead of kind of grinding through it.”
Now he takes on less with a refreshed outlook.
After generating as much buzz as any hiring in 2012, Leach's first season in Pullman was a major disappointment. It was particularly surprising how poorly the Cougars' offense played, considering it had two experienced, capable quarterbacks and a good crew of receivers.
While Yost's responsibility is only receivers -- reducing responsibilities was the whole point after all -- he surely will inject some energy and new ideas into the offensive preparation. He also is known as a players' coach. He should have a lighter touch than Leach. This seems like a good pair -- a little of the ol' yin and yang of offensive innovators.
It's not unreasonable to project that Yost will boost his new team as much as any five-star player who signs on Wednesday.