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Eastern Washington raids rival staff for new assistant coach

After a spring season that included a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs and a record-setting campaign from its quarterback, Eastern Washington also lost popular running backs coach Kevin Maurice to the FBS level this spring when he accepted a job at New Mexico State.

This week, the Eagles found Maurice's replacement. Eastern Washington has tabbed Aaron Prier for the position, snatching away Prier from rival Idaho State.

Prier also will handle the role of community relations coordinator.

“He has a proven track record playing and coaching multiple positions,” Eagles coach Aaron Best said in a release. “The familiarity with the league and with our program was an added bonus.

“His passion, energy and connectivity with student-athletes was obvious on so many levels. He's a huge addition for our current student-athletes, future student-athletes and staff.”

Prier had been on staff at his alma mater, ISU, for the past five seasons; he climbed the ranks from graduate assistant to tight ends coach and concluded his tenure most recently as the inside receivers, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

The Eagles finished their spring 2021 campaign 5-2; they jumped atop perennial powerhouse North Dakota State, 14-0, in the opening round of the FCS Playoffs before their season ended in a 42-20 loss.

Prier inherits a tandem of running backs in seniors Tamarick Pierce and Dennis Merritt with a combined 2,839 rushing yards and 43 touchdowns.

EWU is scheduled to open its fall season Sept. 2 at UNLV.