Kendrick Shaver, Utah State's co-defensive coordinator, will join Tracy Claeys' new defensive coaching staff at Washington State. But now the spotlight is on running backs coach Jim Mastro, who is being pursued by Oregon.
Utah State co-defensive coordinator Kendrick Shaver is headed to Washington State to join Mike Leach’s staff, two sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Seattle Times Sunday morning.
Shaver’s potential move was first reported by UStateAggies.com, the Utah State 247Sports fan site.
Shaver has been at Utah State with Matt Wells since 2011, steadily working his way up within the staff. Shaver just finished his second year as the Aggies’ co-defensive coordinator, and his first year as the Aggies’ outside linebackers coach.
Shaver coached the Utah State secondary in each of his first six seasons in Logan, and in 2012, he was named Co-Defensive Backs National Coach of the Year by Football Scoop.
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What position Shaver will coach at WSU has yet to be announced.
He comes to WSU as a replacement for outside linebackers coach Roy Manning, who left to become special teams coordinator at UCLA. However, with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch gone, and Tracy Claeys now in charge of the defense, there’s a chance that Claeys might re-divide responsibilities among the position coaches. Darcel McBath, whose hire was announced last week, will likely coach the secondary in some fashion. Shaver has experience with both linebackers and defensive backs.
Shaver is a native of Eufaula, Okla., and he played two seasons at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College before transferring to Missouri State, where he was a safety and cornerback from 2000-01. He also earned a masters in physical education Eastern Kentucky in 2005, and served an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Oakland Raiders in 2014.
With Shaver’s hire, WSU’s coaching staff now appears to be complete.
The wild card, however, is WSU running backs coach Jim Mastro, who is being heavily pursued by Oregon. New Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal has offered Mastro a job on his staff, per a source.
Mastro was one of Leach’s original hires at WSU in 2012, and in six seasons he’s helped to rebrand the way running backs are perceived in the Air Raid, and has been instrumental in WSU’s offensive success.
As a group, Mastro’s running backs are coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving/1,000-yard rushing seasons — the first time this has ever happened in a Leach-coached offense.
Mastro is known for his recruiting prowess, and he was instrumental in WSU’s signing of Pomona (Colo.) running back Max Borghi in December. Borghi picked WSU over a strong late push from Stanford, which he once considered his “dream school.” Borghi cited his relationship with Mastro as one of the primary reasons why he chose WSU over Stanford.
Mastro is well-regarded in coaching circles. He helped Chris Ault develop the pistol offense as an assistant at Nevada from 2000-10, and has also worked at UCLA, Idaho, San Jose State and Cal Poly.
Mastro is the second WSU coach Oregon has come after in consecutive years. The Ducks hired WSU defensive line coach Joe Salave’a last offseason and Salave’a opted to stay in Eugene with Cristobal instead of leaving for Florida State with Willie Taggart.
If Mastro does decide to join Cristobal’s staff at Oregon, WSU would have to find a replacement fast because recruiting is picking up again as the February signing period nears.