WSU hires new OC and DC

Ben Arbuckle and Jeff Schmedding were hired as the offensive and defensive coordinator


Courtesy of WSU Athletics

Ben Arbuckle coaching at Western Kentucky University

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

Before the WSU season ended, the football coaching staff changed as they lost their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator to other coaching jobs.

Eric Morris, the former WSU offensive coordinator, accepted the offer from University of North Texas to become their head coach. Morris is from Texas and to become the head coach of a team in his home state was an obvious move.

Brian Ward, the defensive coordinator of last year, moved to Arizona State. Ward is from Glendale, Arizona, and attended University of Phoenix. Ward moving out of the Palouse and running to the warmth makes sense.

The Cougs hired Ben Arbuckle as the offensive coordinator, he is a 27-year-old coming from Western Kentucky University.

Arbuckle led the nation in explosive plays of 20+ yards last season with 98, which is 10 more than any other school. Western Kentucky University was sixth in the nation in total offense with 497.3 yards per game and 15 in scoring with 36.4 points per game.

Arbuckle was coaching a high school football team just three years ago, he will fill the shoes of Morris who struggled all season to get the offense going. Arbuckle will attempt to give Cam Ward the offense that will make him the most successful.

Jeff Schmedding has been hired as the new WSU defensive coordinator. He most recently coached at Auburn as their defensive coordinator.

Schmedding’s coaching history consists of 13 years at Eastern Washington University as he graduated from there and was a graduate assistant from 2004-06. He was the safeties coach in 2007 and coached the linebackers from 2008-09. He was the special teams coordinator and coached safeties from 2010-14, then was the defensive coordinator from 2014-18.

He went to Boise State as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2019 and 2020. He went to Auburn to become the linebackers coach in 2021 and later became the defensive coordinator in 2022.

Schmedding will try to fill the ginormous hole of Brian Ward leaving. Ward led the Cougs’ defense to become the best they have been for years, leading the team to allow less than 23 points per game and less than 300 yards per game.

Schmedding will have the help of Jake Dickert who is known as a defensive head coach.

Both of these hires will take time to develop and whether they are successful or not may take a few years to find out.