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Washington State aiming to hire Jake Dickert: Cougars value stability in elevating interim coach

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Jake Dickert is trending toward having his interim tag removed and being named the next Washington State football coach, a source tells CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. Dickert took over the Cougars after former coach Nick Rolovich was fired on Oct. 20 for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine as mandated for state employees in Washington. 

The Cougars went 3-2 under Dickert’s watch, including an emphatic 40-13 win over rival Washington on Friday night in the Apple Cup. Prior to that, Washington State throttled Arizona 44-18 in the final home game of the season.

Dickert, 38, played wide receiver at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and spent the majority of his coaching career at the FCS level before joining the Wyoming staff as safeties coach in 2017. He remained with the Cowboys until he arrived as the defensive coordinator at Washington State in 2020. 

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Elevating Dickert into the full-time role is a great move for a Washington State program that, after all that it has gone through over the last two years, craves some semblance of stability. Things were working on the Palouse under Dickert’s watch and with the coaches who refused the vaccine removed from the staff, Dickert can still keep the rest of the staff in place if it’s best for the program. 

The Cougars will have quarterback Jayden de Laura back next season after the Honolulu native threw for 2,742 yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 11 games. He threw for 234 or more yards in all five of the games Dickert served as the head coach, including eight of his touchdowns and only three of his interceptions.

They’ll lose a ton of production defensively, provided those who are expected to move on do so, but the younger guys have been working in this system for two years. By promoting Dickert to full-time coach, it will be far less challenging for the youngsters to step into more prominent roles than it would be with a new staff.

Washington State owns state bragging rights because of what Dickert did to rival Washington on Friday night in Seattle. Why mess with success? If Dickert and the stability he brings means more dominance over the Huskies — who are going to undergoing a coaching change of their own — it’s a big step toward consistently contending for the Pac-12 North title.

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