Washington State announces hiring of wide receivers coach Nick Edwards

Jan. 24—PULLMAN — Washington State's football program announced the hiring of new wide receivers coach Nick Edwards, a former NFL assistant who played and coached at Eastern Washington.

The hire was first reported Jan. 15. WSU made it official Tuesday.

With Edwards aboard, WSU has finalized its on-field staff for the 2023 season.

"I'm excited to complete our fulltime staff with Nick Edwards as our wide receivers coach," Cougars coach Jake Dickert said, quoted in a school release. "Nick stood out because of his ties to our region, experience at the Pac-12 level as well as the NFL, and his knowledge and ability to teach the concepts and techniques of wide receiver play."

Edwards comes to WSU after spending one season with the Atlanta Falcons. He worked with quarterbacks and helped the club put together game plans.

The Tacoma native began his coaching career in 2014 at EWU. He served as the Eagles' wide receivers coach for three seasons and was instrumental in the success of future NFL receivers Cooper Kupp and Kendrick Bourne. Kupp, a star for the Los Angeles Rams and the Super Bowl MVP last year, told ESPN last fall that Edwards was key to his development at EWU.

"He sees the game better than just about any coach I've ever had," Kupp said of Edwards.

Edwards played receiver for EWU from 2009-12 and finished his collegiate career as one of the program's most productive pass-catchers of all time. Edwards totaled 2,634 receiving yards, 33 touchdown catches and 215 receptions — all top-five marks in program history. As a sophomore in 2010, Edwards helped the Eagles win the FCS national championship. Edwards landed on nine FCS All-America teams in 2011 after catching a school-record 95 passes for 1,250 yards and an FCS-leading 19 touchdowns.

He went undrafted in 2013, but was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. Edwards also spent time on offseason rosters with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. He never played a game in the NFL and turned down an opportunity to play for Edmonton in the Canadian Football League, then began his coaching career.

After a stint at his alma mater, Edwards served three seasons as an assistant in the Pac-12, at California. He coached the Golden Bears' running backs in 2017 and tutored receivers for the next two seasons under offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin — Edwards' coach at EWU.

Baldwin accepted the head coaching job at FCS Cal Poly in 2020 and brought along Edwards, who coordinated the Mustangs' offense and coached receivers for two seasons before leaving the program for an NFL gig.

Edwards replaces Joel Filani, who spent one year as WSU's receivers coach.

The Cougars have hired four new fulltime assistants during the past month after a rocky start to the offseason.

Offensive coordinator Eric Morris left the team in mid-December after one season to take the head coaching position at North Texas. WSU tapped the 27-year-old Ben Arbuckle, who led Western Kentucky's offense to a highly productive 2022 season, as its new OC on Jan. 6.

Defensive coordinator Brian Ward departed WSU after one season in early December to take the same job at Arizona State. WSU hired Jeff Schmedding Jan. 12 to take his place. Schmedding is a Spokane native, an EWU grad and former longtime Eagles assistant who formerly worked as DC at Boise State (2019-20) and Auburn (2022).

WSU also lost edge rushers coach A.J. Cooper to Arizona State in early December. Former Boise State defensive line coach Frank Maile, who also served as the assistant head coach during stops at BSU (2021-22) and Utah State (2016-20), will mentor the Cougs' edge rushers.