Nov 16, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Washington State Cougars mascot Butch celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. The Cougars beat the Wildcats 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
First it was Graham Harrell and his ties to Mike Leach, now it’s our very own Jason Gesser returning to Pullman. Suddenly, former quarterbacks associated with the Washington State Cougars just can’t stay away.
So… wow this is pretty cool news right? But hold on a minute, it does come at a price if you’re a fan of the current radio team. Gesser is joining but he’s also replacing a fan-favorite over the past couple of years and a former Coug himself, Shawn McWashington, and . So I think we all have mixed emotions about it and you feel bad for a guy that was really coming into his own. However before getting upset at the Cougs for not finding some way to incorporate them both, keep in mind that this was an IMG-based decision, not a WSU-based one.
McWashington was shocked to hear the news for himself but as you would expect from this man, he handled it with all the class in the world.
"“We’re all Cougs. If I can help Jason in any way, I’m ready to. And I’ll of course continue to watch the Cougs closely. I really think the program is on the verge of sustained success … Bottom line, being on the broadcast team, even if only for two years, was a true honor. But things change and I’m good with that. I really believe in the leadership of Bill Moos. He has the best interests of Cougar Nation at heart. By no means is this a disassociation from Cougar football. I hope to find other ways to continue to promote the entire WSU athletics department. Thank you to the hundreds of calls and texts over the last couple of years from the people who loved the broadcast. It’s been fun."
Gesser (who was coaching quarterbacks in Wyoming last season before the coaching change over there) is understandably excited about the opportunity after just recently having decided to put down family-roots in Pullman. He is also pledging to be a better public speaker on the radio, even going so far as to take classes to remove a lot of his Hawaiian accent that we’ve loved for so long.
As far as what he can offer to those who will choose to listen to the radio broadcast, it’s actually quite interesting the dynamics Gesser will bring.
"The best part for me is that, being able to sit back in that pocket and have success at the Pac-10 level, that’s a great aspect to have,” said Gesser. “But I think what will help set me apart from the other broadcasters who have played that position at the college and/or pro level is that not only did I play, I coached in college games, and that I’ve been a head coach on the sidelines. “So what a coach is trying to accomplish at a certain time, what the players are doing and what they’re going through, I think I can provide a different view on that as someone who not only played but coached the game. I think I can provide some really good insights on what’s going on within the game.”"
I’m really excited about it. When you think about it in terms of experience and such, this is very similar (in my mind at least) to Mike Leach replacing Paul Wulff down on the sidelines a few years ago. Just a move that the network feels really brings excitement and a need to listen to the radio broadcast because of who is involved. Bob Robertson, Bud Nameck and Jason Gesser is a quality trio, though I think Bud is still getting used to the pace of a football game vs his basketball broadcasts.
This feels like some sort of omen, right? I mean the last QB to actually lead our Cougs to a Rose Bowl is now back in the fold in the booth!? Can’t wait to hear Gesser’s voice filling up the airwaves in Pullman as he puts together his perspective on how the Cougs just scored again.