Washington Spirit rehire former coach Mark Parsons
WSU’s football program had its most successful season in decades, winning its first bowl game since 1974 and finishing the year ranked No. 12 in the country.
But the program has undergone some changes, as coach Mark Parsons has been replaced by Mark Alstork.
“We have a great coach coming in,” WSU president Ray Watts said. “Mark Alstork is a terrific communicator, a terrific football coach. He really is a wonderful person. We are excited it’s the right decision for us.”
Alstork joined USA TODAY Sports Tuesday evening. He’s a former NFL player whose resume includes stints with the Eagles and Cowboys. In 1997, he won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award after a season with the Colts. He spent the past 15 seasons with the New York Jets.
“I have been able to be successful in pro and college football,” Alstork said. “I think the main thing is you have to have a deep passion for what you do.”
Alstork’s hiring was met with mixed feelings.
“Mark Alstork is a good football coach, but he had a few issues,” former NFL coach Eric Mangini said. “His record and his record keeping were atrocious. Mark Parsons comes right from the top. He worked in college football and got to know the Pac 12 Conference very well. I understand he may have some issues with WSU, and he may have some issues with the Pac 12 because he doesn’t have enough wins in the Pac. I think we can get over that. But I’m excited about the chance to be a major college football program. I love coaching in the Pac and think it’s one of the best conferences. I’m very excited about coming to WSU and being a part of this program.”
Alstork’s first season at USF in 2005 got off to a decent start, with the Bulls winning their first three games. But then USF went 3-9 down the stretch, and he was fired after the third loss. His firing came right on the heels of former coach Dennis Erickson’s firing after one season. Erickson finished his two-year tenure with a winless record of 5-