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Tracy Claeys Hired as Defensive Coordinator at Washington State

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USA Today


Whether it’s the Vikings or Gophers, former Minnesota football coaches are making moves. On the same day it was announced that Brad Childress is expected to retire from the NFL, reports surfaced that Tracy Claeys is the newest Defensive Coordinator of the Washington State Cougars.

The news came just prior to kickoff of the National Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia. The former Gophers’ Head Coach will be working under the Cougar’s current HC, Mike Leech.

Amid the football program’s infamous sex scandal, Claeys was fired from his role with the Gophers in early January, 2017. After taking the last year off from the game of football, the 49 year-old is back!

Now, considering my appreciation for Coach Fleck and his wife, Heather (who gave me the green light to call her “mom.” no big deal, but kind of a big deal), people may take me for a Tracy Claeys hater. That’s understandable. It’s wrong, but understandable.

After looking at that Dilly Bar picture, how can you not love Tracy Claeys? I certainly do. I just don’t love him as my team’s head coach. Outside of that, he can lead my squad’s defense or join me on a Dairy Queen trip any day of the week.

The 2016 Holiday Bowl was the last game of Tracy Claeys Gophers’ career. During that contest, Minnesota defeated Mike Leach and the Cougars by a score of 17-12. Holding WSU to only a dozen points must have left an impression on Leach, who is known for his brilliant offensive schemes.

Now, teamed together, the two of them will look to outperform Stanford, Washington, and USC; among others in the Pac 12. Leach, who was previously the head coach at Texas Tech for a decade, has amassed a 38-38 record during his Washington State tenure.

Don’t let that .500 record fool you. The charismatic head coach has things trending in the right direction. WSU is currently coming off of a 9-4 year, which included another appearance in the Holiday Bowl. Unfortunately for them, just like the year prior, they lost to a Big Ten team.

The Cougars’ newest assistant came to The Land of 10K Lakes as part of Jerry Kill’s staff. After Kill’s resignation from his HC position due to health issues, Claeys took over in October, 2015. He finished his year-and-a-half at the helm with a record of 11-8.

Good for Tracy Claeys. From his point of view, this is a win-win. If Washington State succeeds, he may get another head coaching opportunity. However, win or lose, he can still learn a hell of a lot from Mike Leach. That guy has immense knowledge on all sorts of topics.

Claeys can soak up information acquired from Leach’s pirate related rants or, if he happens to find his own version of Heather Fleck, WSU’s HC can help prepare him for the wedding:

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com

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