Saturday, March 17, 2012
Former Arizona Wildcats assistant Joe Salave'a has accepted a similar position at Washington State.
The Cougars have yet to formally announce Salave'a's hire. But as of this morning, Salave'a was listed in the WSU faculty and staff directory as a "football assistant" under head coach Mike Leach. He is the second former UA assistant to land on Leach's staff: recruiting coordinator David Emerick was hired as the head coach's "chief of staff" earlier this month.
Salave'a, 36, is expected to coach the Cougars' defensive line. He played defensive tackle at the UA from 1994-97, and for nine seasons (1998-2006) in the NFL. Salave'a coached the defensive line at San Jose State from 2008-09; Arizona hired him following the 2010 regular season, and assigned him to coach defensive tackles.
Salave'a was considered a candidate to stay at the UA after Rich Rodriguez was hired as head coach on Nov. 21. But Rodriguez's timetable for filling a staff has dragged out. The UA is expected to tab a defensive coordinator, possibly West Virginia's Jeff Casteel, following the bowl season. The coordinator will then have input on the defensive line and linebackers coaches.
Salave'a, a native of Leone, American Samoa, is expected to recruit the islands for WSU.