Pac-12: Malik Roberson

Staff changes: Washington State

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
1:00
PM ET
Only Oregon and Washington didn't experience any staff turnover this offseason, so we're running through the staff changes for the other 10 Pac-12 teams.

Next up is Washington State, which had two notable changes.

Out
Travis Niekamp, linebackers (became Cougars coordinator of football development)

In
Chris Tormey, linebackers

Out
Malik Roberson, defensive line

In
Todd Howard, defensive line

Reaction: Wulff has been adding veteran coaches over the past two offseasons. To steal a note from Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist John Blanchette, over the past 13 months, "The four assistants who departed had a total of 17 years full-time experience at Football Championship Subdivision schools; the four replacements have 79 years in the FCS or the National Football League." Last year, offensive line coach Steve Morton and special teams/running backs coach Dave Ungerer were added. This year, it was Tormey and Howard, who both have significant Pac-10 resumes, Howard at UCLA and Tormey at Washington. Beyond these moves, Wulff also announced that Chris Ball will be the team's assistant head coach and lone defensive coordinator, while Jody Sears will coach cornerbacks. Sears was co-defensive coordinator the previous three seasons. It's probably a win-or-else season for Wulff, and it's clear he wants to be surrounded by as much experience as possible while the screws tighten.

Fired at UCLA, Howard hired by Cougars

February, 10, 2011
2/10/11
7:20
PM ET
In the world of "official" announcements, Todd Howard was fired and hired by two separate Pac-12 programs in one day.

After UCLA made his termination as defensive line coach official Thursday -- Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel told him to start looking for another job in December -- Washington State swept in to announce that Howard had been hired to man the same post in Pullman. He replaces Malik Roberson, whose contract was not renewed for the 2011 season.

Cougars coach Paul Wulff also announced that Chris Ball has been promoted to assistant head coach and will be the lone defensive coordinator in 2011. Former co-coordinator Jody Sears will remain as cornerbacks coach.

“Todd brings a great deal of experience to our program,” Wulff said in a statement. “He has coached at the highest levels of collegiate football while also serving on two different coaching staffs in the NFL. He has a lot of experience recruiting the Los Angeles area which was a priority for us and he has also coached All-Americans and numerous All-Conference players.”

Howard had been at UCLA for five years, as Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel inherited him from former coach Karl Dorrell's staff.

Change is probably good for the Washington State defense, which ranked 118th in the nation in total defense and 110th in scoring defense in 2010.

Washington State visits UCLA on Oct. 8, by the way.

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