Washington promotes Bob Gregory to defensive coordinator

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Washington has promoted Bob Gregory to defensive coordinator, the third time in his coaching career that he will be in charge of running a defense.

Gregory’s promotion came after Pete Kwiatkowski surprisingly left Washington in January to take the defensive coordinator position on Steve Sarkisian‘s staff at Texas.

Gregory has been Washington’s inside linebackers coach for the past seven seasons. He was previously a defensive coordinator at California from 2002-09 and at Boise State in 2001.

Washington coach Jimmy Lake said he looked outside the program at potential candidates both in college and the NFL but came back to Gregory as the best option.

“It just kept going back to an internal hire that made the most sense,” Lake said. “Our defense has been extremely successful. We definitely didn’t want to bring in just a whole different, brand new defense for our guys to learn. There’s a lot of stability here.”

The position change for Gregory also led to additional changes on the Huskies’ staff. Running back coach Keith Bhonapha will add special teams coordinator to his duties, a job Gregory had held since arriving at Washington in 2014.

Ikaika Malloe will move from coaching the defensive line to coaching outside linebackers. Rip Rowan has been promoted from defensive analyst to defensive line coach.

“I always want to be able to promote from within when guys are doing their job and we know that this is going to make us better,” Lake said. “You’re always going to see that our quality control coaches or even our GAs, they are working to become that next guy at whatever position it is.”

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.