Fired at UCLA, Howard hired by Cougars

In the world of "official" announcements, Todd Howard was fired and hired by two separate Pac-12 programs in one day.

After UCLA made his termination as defensive line coach official Thursday -- Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel told him to start looking for another job in December -- Washington State swept in to announce that Howard had been hired to man the same post in Pullman. He replaces Malik Roberson, whose contract was not renewed for the 2011 season.

Cougars coach Paul Wulff also announced that Chris Ball has been promoted to assistant head coach and will be the lone defensive coordinator in 2011. Former co-coordinator Jody Sears will remain as cornerbacks coach.

“Todd brings a great deal of experience to our program,” Wulff said in a statement. “He has coached at the highest levels of collegiate football while also serving on two different coaching staffs in the NFL. He has a lot of experience recruiting the Los Angeles area which was a priority for us and he has also coached All-Americans and numerous All-Conference players.”

Howard had been at UCLA for five years, as Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel inherited him from former coach Karl Dorrell's staff.

Change is probably good for the Washington State defense, which ranked 118th in the nation in total defense and 110th in scoring defense in 2010.

Washington State visits UCLA on Oct. 8, by the way.