University of Missouri

MU safeties coach Alex Grinch leaves for Washington State

Missouri has another opening on its football staff now that safeties coach Alex Grinch has become Washington State’s defensive coordinator.

Washington State coach Mike Leach announced Grinch’s hiring Wednesday.

“He is a passionate, tireless worker who brings tremendous excitement and aggression to our team,” Leach said in a release. “He has a track record of developing young talent which will be of great benefit to our defense.

“He is highly regarded in the coaching field and has a very bright future.”

Grinch had served on coach Gary Pinkel’s staff for three seasons. He also was a graduate assistant for Missouri during 2002-04 before stints at New Hampshire and Wyoming.

Under Grinch’s tutelage, Braylon Webb emerged as a second-team All-SEC safety this season.

Grinch also helped the Tigers make inroads as a recruiter in Georgia. He played a key role in landing wide receiver Nate Brown and quarterback Eddie Printz, among others.

Grinch will be reunited with former Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost on Leach’s staff in Pullman, Wash. Yost is entering his third season as the Cougars’ inside receivers coach.

Missouri already had to replace one assistant coach this offseason when defensive coordinator Dave Steckel left to become the head coach at Missouri State.

The Tigers hired former Memphis defensive coordinator Barry Odom, an MU graduate and former safeties coach under Pinkel, as Steckel’s replacement in late December.

Odom also is slated is coach linebackers, but with Grinch’s departure, Pinkel could hire either a safeties coach or linebackers coach as a replacement.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @todpalmer.

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