Three Finalists Announced For Vacant CWU Football Coaching Position - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Three Finalists Announced For Vacant CWU Football Coaching Position

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Three candidates have been announced as finalists for the vacancy of head football coach at Central Washington University. Two of the three candidates -- Timm Rosenbach and Bruce Walker -- were finalists for the position when it became open last year. The third finalist for this year's vacancy is Blaine Bennett.
 
Rosenbach, 41, just completed his fifth season as the quarterbacks coach at Washington State University, but was not retained as a member of new Cougar coach Paul Wulff's coaching staff. The former WSU quarterback, who also had professional stints with the NFL's Phoenix Cardinals and the CFL's Hamilton TigerCats, has been an assistant coach at three universities -- Saint Ambrose (Iowa), Eastern Washington, and Washington State. Three of his quarterbacks -- Josh Blankenship (Eastern Washington), Matt Kegel (Washington State), and Alex Brink (Washington State) -- currently have, or have had, opportunities to play professionally in the National Football League. A Pullman, Wash., native, Rosenbach is a 2005 graduate of WSU with a degree in social sciences.
 
Walker, 47, has been at three different universities over the course of his 20 years as an assistant coach. The first eight of those were spent at Central Washington coaching the defensive line and offensive line before assuming duties as offensive coordinator for the 1994 and 1995 seasons. He helped lead the team to the 1995 NAIA national championship with a school-record 6,446 yards of total offense in 14 games. Off the field, Walker also served CWU as its first director of athletic development, position he held for four years. He then spent five seasons at the University of Toledo, and has been at Missouri for the past seven years as its tight ends and assistant offensive line coach. A 1983 graduate of CWU with a degree in business administration, the East Wenatchee, Wash., native played center for the Wildcats for two seasons under legendary coach Tom Parry.
 
Bennett, 43, is currently the head football coach at Lafayette Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Ind. Previously, he had spent six seasons as an assistant coach in the Big Ten Conference, including a one-year stint as assistant head coach at Michigan State in 2006. Prior to that, Bennett was the quarterbacks coach at Purdue University from 2001-05, where he mentored current NFL quarterback Kyle Orton. In addition to his experience as a Division I-FBS assistant coach, Bennett was the head coach at Western Oregon University from 1995-2000, compiling a 27-32 overall record in his six seasons on the Wolves' sidelines. A 1987 graduate of Whitworth College with a degree in secondary education and math, the Walla Walla, Wash., native played quarterback for the Pirates for two seasons (1986-87) and lettered as a reserve quarterback at the University of Idaho (1985) as well. He is the son of Shorty Bennett, a very successful high school coach who led Ellensburg High School to the 1973 WIAA Class AA state championship.
 
Each of the three candidates will go through a formal on-campus interview this week, with a selection and announcement to follow the completion of those interviews. The hired candidate will replace Beau Baldwin, who led Central Washington to a 10-3 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals this past fall. Baldwin resigned Jan. 4 after just one season to become the head coach at Eastern Washington University.
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