WSU ventures to NFL for new receivers coach

Jan. 25—Washington State went up to the NFL ranks to find its new receivers coach, announcing the hire of Nick Edwards of the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday.

The latest assistant to join coach Jake Dickert's staff is returning to his roots on the Palouse. Edwards is an Eastern Washington graduate who also coached with the Eagles from 2014-16, when he helped mentor future NFL star Cooper Kupp, a Super Bowl champion with the Los Angeles Rams.

Most recently, Edwards was an offensive assistant with the Falcons, working alongside offensive coordinator Dave Ragone with gameplan duties in 2022.

"I am excited to complete our full-time staff with Nick Edwards as our wide receivers coach," Dickert said in a news 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."

Before his lone year in the pros, Edwards spent 2020-21 as the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Cal Poly of the Big Sky Conference.

He's also no stranger to the Pac-12 Conference, having coached at Cal for three seasons in 2017-19. He spent the first two years as receivers coach before switching to running backs in 2019.

Before that, his time as EWU's receivers coach produced two NFL wideouts in Kupp and Kendrick Bourne (49ers, Patriots).

But Edwards wasn't too shabby as a player himself.

Edwards played four seasons at EWU (2009-12), helping the Eagles to the 2010 Football Championship Subdivision national championship as a sophomore receiver when he started all 15 games and recorded 57 catches, 614 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

Those numbers improved during an All-American campaign as a junior, when he tallied 95 catches, 1,250 yards and 19 touchdowns — tops in the FCS.

Edwards was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 and also spent time on offseason rosters with Arizona and Seattle before turning to coaching in 2014.

The Edwards hire comes during a whirlwind of Cougar hires the past month, including offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle (Western Kentucky), defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding (Auburn), edge coach Frank Maile (Boise State) and strength coach Ben Iannacchione (Akron).

"We know (Edwards) is the right fit for our program and can't wait to get him and his family here to the Palouse," Dickert said.

Edwards replaces former wide receivers coach Joel Filani, who spent one season with the program.

Wiebe may be contacted at (208) 848-2260, swiebe@lmtribune.com or on Twitter @StephanSports.