Fresno State assistant football coach Joe Wade, who played a significant role in the development of key Bulldogs players the past seven seasons, was not retained by new offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau.
Tight ends coach Phil Earley also was let go, as Kiesau is expected to bring in assistants who have stronger ties with him.
Two other assistants have also left. Offensive-line coach Cameron Norcross took the same position at Vanderbilt, and secondary coach Marcus Woodson joined Memphis as cornerbacks coach.
Wade spent his first six seasons at Fresno State as running backs coach before he was switched to receivers coach last year. He guided the development of two of Fresno State’s greatest running backs, Ryan Mathews and Robbie Rouse.
During Joe Wade’s seven years as a Fresno State assistant, running back Ryan Mathews had his best season of his career and running back Robbie Rouse developed into the Bulldogs’ career rushing leader.
In Wade’s first season at Fresno State, Mathews enjoyed the first injury-free season of his college career and led the nation with 150.67 rushing yards per game. He finished that year rushing for school season records of 1,808 yards and 19 touchdowns before becoming a 2010 first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers.
The 5-foot-6, 190-pound Rouse began his career under Wade’s tutelage and became Fresno State’s all-time rushing leader over his four-year career with 4,647 yards. Rouse twice was named to the All-Mountain West Conference first team.
Wade was also the primary recruiter for several key Bulldogs starters, most notably running back Marteze Waller, who was an all-conference second-team selection in 2014.
911Number of total rushing yards Fresno State dropped in 2015 after Joe Wade was moved from running backs to receivers coach prior to last season
In 2014, when Wade last headed the running backs, Waller ranked third in the Mountain West with 1,368 rushing yards and averaged 97.7 yards per game as the Bulldogs amassed 2,553 rushing yards.
In 2015, after coach Tim DeRuyter switched Wade to receivers coach, Waller rushed for just 920 yards and averaged 76.7, and the Bulldogs generated just 1,642 rushing yards.
Wade had the longest running Fresno State tenure among all the football coaches, having started his career under coach Pat Hill, then becoming the lone assistant holdover when DeRuyter was hired in December 2011.
Earley was at Fresno State for four seasons and coached the tight ends and inside receivers. He was also the program’s recruiting coordinator in 2012-13.
Kiesau was hired last month to replaced the fired Dave Schramm.