Two Texas assistant coaches linked with Washington State head coach job

·2 min read

Midway through the season, Power Five head coaching jobs are beginning to open up. LSU and USC are the two biggest names, firing Ed Orgeron and Clay Helton, respectively, for poor performances on the field.

The latest is Washington State’s Nick Rolovich. After deciding to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, which was required by the state of Washington for their employees, Rolovich was let go by athletic director Pat Chun.

Even with Washington State being one of the more unattractive jobs in the Power Five, Steve Sarkisian’s staff has two names linked.

Texas assistant head coach/special teams coach Jeff Banks is “one name to watch” to fill the head coach role according to Dennis Dobbs of CBS Sports. He was the Cougars’ punter in the 1996 and 1997 seasons, going to the Rose Bowl in his final season.

Banks’ head coaching experience is limited to one game back in 2017 when Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies lost to Wake Forest in the Belk Bowl, 55-52. Texas is the first place he has been an assistant head coach as well.

Losing out on Banks would be a massive blow to recruiting. He is seen as one of the best on the staff, mainly based on his time in Tuscaloosa. You can tell how important of a prospect somebody is if Banks is one of the main recruiters.

Another coaches’ name has been thrown out there as well. According to Chris Vannini of The Athletic, linebackers coach Jeff Choate should be under consideration. He has tons of experience in the Pacific Northwest and even was once a coach at Washington State.

Texas co-defensive coordinator Jeff Choate was Montana State’s head coach from 2016 to 2020, and the Bobcats improved each year, capped by an 11-4 record and FCS semifinal appearance in 2019. He coached Washington State’s linebackers in 2012 after six years at Boise State and later coached at Washington.

Choate himself has never been a head coach of a Power Five program either. He’s a near west coast lifer, only spending one season outside of the region at Florida in 2013 before joining Sarkisian’s staff.

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