Nine assistants down, one to go for new Washington State coach Nick Rolovich.
On Tuesday it was learned two more Hawaii assistants would be joining Rolovich’s staff in Pullman: Mark Banker, who coached the linebackers in Honolulu, and Ricky Logo, who was in charge of the Rainbow Warriors’ defensive line.
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, who first reported the news about Banker, indicated the coach will be switching position groups and working with the safeties in Pullman rather than the linebackers.
KHON2 News in Honolulu reported Logo “was reported to have left Honolulu for Pullman over the weekend,” and The Spokesman-Review confirmed through a source close to the school he’s prepared to join the Cougars. It’s still unclear what unit Logo will be coaching at WSU, especially with the Cougars also reportedly hiring Wyoming’s AJ Cooper, who coached defensive ends in Laramie.
Banker and Logo were not the first Hawaii assistants to join Rolovich, but they become the first on the defensive side of the ball. WSU’s new coach has reportedly tabbed Wyoming’s Jake Dickert to become his defensive coordinator, and Dickert plans to bring two of the Cowboys’ assistants, Cooper and cornerbacks coach John Richardson, to Pullman with him.
The other Hawaii assistants moving from Honolulu include offensive coordinator Brian Smith, passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Craig Stutzmann and special teams coach Michael Ghoubrial. Hawaii’s chief of staff, Jason Cvercko, and strength and conditioning coach, Dwain Bradshaw, also are expected to join Rolovich.
Banker has been coaching for 38 years, having spent the last two as Hawaii’s assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach — his second stint with the Rainbow Warriors after coaching in Honolulu in 1995. Banker recently coached Hawaii’s Jahlani Tavai, who was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft.
Prior to his time at Hawaii, Banker was the defensive coordinator at Nebraska for two years (2015-16) and guided a Cornhuskers defense that ranked ninth nationally in rushing yards allowed. He also spent 12 years working as Oregon State’s defensive coordinator under Mike Riley, helping the 2007 Beavers lead the nation in rushing defense, and presided over a group that had five defensive players chosen in the 2009 NFL Draft.
The Plymouth, Massachusetts, native and former Springfield College player spent three seasons in the NFL as a cornerbacks coach for the San Diego Chargers and has spent 20 years coaching with Riley at Nebraska (2), OSU (14), San Diego (3) and USC (1). Banker also had another stint in the Pac-12, as Stanford’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2002.
Like Banker, Logo also recently finished up his second season with Rolovich at Hawaii. The American Samoa native coached the Rainbow Warriors’ defensive line both years, leading the 2018 team to the program’s highest sack total (30) since 2011.
Logo has also worked as a D-line coach at Colorado State (2015-17), Houston (2012-14), Furman (2011), Vanderbilt (2007-10), Troy (2002-06) and Western Carolina (2002).
The former North Carolina State defensive lineman moved to the United States at the age of 3 but had an option to return to American Samoa after college to become the “high chief” of the unincorporated U.S. territory — a position his 89-year-old grandmother had held previously.
Logo’s ties to the island could help the Cougars strengthen their recruiting efforts in American Samoa — a pipeline that essentially disappeared once former defensive line coach Joe Salave’a took the same position at Oregon. Notable ex-WSU players from American Samoa include center Fred Mauigoa, defensive linemen Logan Tago, Daniel Ekuale and Robert Barber and linebacker Frankie Luvu.