WSU Football adds Michael Ghobrial as special teams coordinator

WSU football hires Michael Ghobrial as special teams coordinator
WSU makes the hire of Hawaii's Michael Ghobrial official as the new special teams coordinator in Pullman.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich announced Thursday that Michael Ghobrial has been hired to the Cougar Football coaching staff as the Special Teams Coordinator.

“Michael is a high-level motivator, he coaches with great passion for football and brings energy to everything he does whether it’s in his meeting rooms and on the field,” Rolovich said. “Michael is always working to improve his craft, he did a great job in recruiting the pacific northwest for us at Hawai’i and has experience in this conference after he played and started his coaching career at UCLA.”

Ghobrial worked the past two seasons in the same role for coach Rolovich at Hawai’i, helping UH to bowl games in both seasons including a 10-5 mark and Hawaii Bowl win over BYU in 2019.

Last season, Ghobrial’s kickoff return team averaged nearly 23 yards-per-return and recorded one blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. In his first season, the Torrance, Calif. native guided Hawai’i to a No. 5 national ranking in blocked kicks with five, while helping kicker Ryan Meskell to a superb .833 field-goal percentage (15-of-18).

Prior to Hawaii, Ghobrial spent two seasons at Tarleton State (2016-17), where he coached the defensive line and outside linebackers in addition to special teams. At TSU, Ghobrial coached six all-conference performers and guided one of the league’s best special teams units. In 2017, the Texans ranked either first or second in kickoff-return average, kickoff-return touchdowns, blocked kicks, and kickoff coverage and featured the nation’s ninth-ranked return specialist and No. 15-ranked punter. The Texans defense was also top three in the conference in sacks, tackles-for-loss, and total tackles. In his first season at TSU, the Texans led the nation in forced fumbles and were ninth in turnovers gained. TSU also blocked seven kicks, including three punts, and was No. 19 nationally in kickoff coverage.

Following his debut season with the Texans, Ghobrial had the opportunity to study and work alongside the Detroit Lions coaching staff at their organized team activities (OTAs) after receiving a position through the Bill Walsh Minority Internship.

Ghobrial coached the 2015 season at Colorado Mesa as the defensive line and outside linebackers coach, and co-special teams coordinator, helping the Mavericks to a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship in his only season. Ghobrial’s CMU defensive line unit ranked first or second in the conference in tackles-for-loss, sacks, and total tackles and the defense was third nationally in turnover margin. In addition, the Mavericks were No. 12 nationally in blocked kicks, and first in the conference in punt-return defense.

Ghobrial spent the 2014 season at Syracuse as a graduate assistant, helping coach the defensive line. Ghobrial began his coaching career at his alma mater UCLA as a quality control coach in 2011 and moved to a graduate assistant position to work with the special teams and defensive line during the 2012-13 seasons. Ghobrial helped the Bruins lead the nation in blocked kicks for two consecutive seasons.

Ghobrial played at UCLA as a defensive end from 2006-07, received two degrees from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2011 and master’s degree in social science and comparative education in 2014.