Unheralded Grinch will have the Cougars taking the Pac-12’s presents


WSU freshman cornerback, Pat Porter (17) and freshman safety Sulaiman Hameed (37) defend against USC in a game at Martin Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.

Although he’s not the most noteworthy hire of all time and Cougar fans may need to hear his name repeated more than once, Alex Grinch is an excellent choice of hire as WSU’s next Defensive Coordinator.

Grinch has no experience working as a Defensive Coordinator, but he does have a padded resume of experience when it comes to coaching college football.

Grinch coached at New Hampshire for four seasons (2005-2008) and was a part of a staff that included current Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly. For the first two seasons at New Hampshire, Grinch was the cornerbacks’ coach and then was promoted to secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped New Hampshire achieve a 37-13 record along with four FCS playoff berths.

“He’s the real deal,” Kelly said in an interview with FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman. “He’s a real rising star. One of the best teachers I’ve been around.”

Grinch also coached the secondary at Wyoming for three seasons and had the opportunity to develop two freshman All-Americans, and six All-Mountain West Conference recipients.

For the last three seasons, he was the safeties coach at Missouri, where he helped the Tigers achieve two SEC East Division titles, two bowl victories and a combined 23-5 record.

Although he didn’t have the biggest role at Missouri, Grinch was part of a winning culture in Columbia and knows what it’ll take to assemble a top notch defense. With Missouri being located in the SEC, Grinch has had to prepare against some of the top college football teams in the country.

“We’re excited to have Alex part of our football family,” WSU Football Head Coach Mike Leach said. “He is a passionate, tireless worker who brings tremendous excitement and aggression to our team. He has a track record of developing young talent which will be of great benefit to our defense.”

The secondary was the biggest weakness for the Cougars last season, intercepting only pass the entire season as a unit. The starting secondary for WSU last season featured one junior and three freshmen. With Grinch having a track record of developing young talent, this is the perfect situation for a young WSU secondary. The front seven of the Cougar defense is already built with experience and depth. Once the secondary is officially developed by Grinch, WSU’s defense will be complete and a force to be reckon with.

Another asset that makes Grinch a great hire is his ability to recruit. Grinch has a history of recruiting in states such as Georgia and Texas, according to the Cougfan website. Both states are known for having talented high school football players. With the connections and relationships Grinch has made in the South, it will help expand the recruiting scenario for WSU.

Looking at Grinch’s resume as a coach and a recruiter, the future is bright for the WSU defense.