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It’s been nearly three weeks since Central Washington University offensive coordinator Kelly Bills stepped down after one season to take an offensive coordinator job with Dixie State, and the Wildcats have found their replacement.

On Wednesday, CWU hired Zach Zinker who spent his last eight seasons at Division II South Dakota School of Mines. The last four years he’s been the head coach.

“We are excited to announce the hiring of Zach Tinker as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach,” CWU head coach Chris Fisk said. “We’re just excited to bring his experience and energy to our staff and cannot wait to get him here for spring ball and get to work.”

SD Mines went 34-53 during Tinker’s tenure, and 18-26 as head coach. He came to the program in 2012 as the OC and assistant head coach before taking over in 2016.

SD Mines had three straight seasons of finishing 5-6 until this past season when it went 3-8. In November, SD Mines parted ways with Tinker.

In 2018, the Hardrockers offense ranked in the top-10 in Division II in five offensive categories. They were the top team in third down efficiency (55.5%), first downs (28.3 per game), and passing offense (332.4 ypg). Their total offense of 536.9 yards per game was third and the scoring offense of 43.8 points per game was eighth.

Tinker played college football at Western Washington University from 1995-98 and then joined its coaching staff from 2003-07.

Prior to joining SD Mines, Tinker spent five seasons at the NAIA level as an assistant coach at Southern Oregon University (2007) and Eastern Oregon University (2008-2011).

SD Mines vied in the GNAC for two seasons (2014-15) when Tinker was the OC. It led the GNAC in total offense (480.2 YPG), passing offense (321.7 YPG), first downs (26.0 per game), and red zone offense (.875).

In that season, Tinker was a named one of three finalists for the American Football Coaches Association Division II Assistant Coach of the Year. The offense broke several school records including total offense (5,282 yards), passing offense (3,540 yards), and first downs (286) in a season.


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