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Wulff will return next year


COUGARS

Paul Wulff and Bill Moos met today and Washington State's third-year head football coach learned he will get a fourth. For what Wulff told me today, read on.
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• Here's the story we have ...

PULLMAN – Paul Wulff will return for his fourth year as head football coach at Washington State.

Wulff and athletic director Bill Moos met Sunday afternoon and Wulff was told the news. In a round-about way.

First the two talked about the Apple Cup, the good and bad elements of it.

"Then we just talked about what we can continue to do to keep making us better," Wulff said. "We didn't talk long enough to go through all of it but we will continue to meet and talk, just to keep each other updated.

"Basically, we talked about how supportive he is and we're building and growing a program. That was really the extent of it."

There was speculation concerning Wulff status much of the year, as Moos, who took after WSU in the spring, continually stated it would be evaluated after the season ended.

That happened Saturday, with the Cougars' 35-28 Apple Cup defeat to Washington in Martin Stadium.

Moos and Wulff went through the first part of the evaluation process Sunday.

"We're going discuss more stuff down the road," Wulff said.

"President Floyd has said from the beginning that the decision on Paul Wulff’s future is mine," Moos said in a release Sunday. "I appreciate his trust and know that his goal, like mine, is to see Cougar football be successful and compete for championships.

"That being said, it is my feeling at this particular time that the best course of action to move in that direction is to continue with the current leadership.”

Wulff is 5-32 in his first three seasons after posting a 53-40 record in eight years as Eastern Washington's head coach. The Cougars finished 2-10 this season with the highlight a 31-14 upset of Oregon State in Corvallis three weeks ago.

But Wulff's tenure has also included a nearly complete overhaul of the Cougar roster – WSU started 10 freshmen or sophomores in the Apple Cup – and changes in off-field activities like weightlifting and nutrition.

With that in mind, Wulff said there was no goals set for next year other than a simple one: "We want to win more games."

"No one wants to win more games than the guy you are talking with right now," said Wulff, who is still working under the five-year contract he signed when joining WSU in 2007. "I accepted with the idea we're going to build a program that will ultimately win a lot of football games and compete for championships.

"We're doing all the things it takes and is required to do that."

He didn't put a win total on anything at all. It was like 'hey, let's win more games,' and I was said 'ya, we're going to win more games.' "

If a change had been made, Washington State would have owed Wulff around $600,000 in guaranteed money.

The future of WSU's assistant coaches was left in his hands, Wulff said. Each is working under contracts that expire in the winter.

"We talked about that and he is supportive of any decision I would make if there needed to be changes," he said. "He absolutely said he doesn't recommend changes unless I feel there is something that needed to be done.

"And there wasn't any recommendation at all in that regard. He'll leave that up to me and that's that."

Wulff said there was no plan for any changes right now. His staff stayed intact the first two seasons, but former running backs coach Steve Broussard left after last season to join Dennis Erickson at Arizona State and former offensive line coach Harold Etheridge was not retained.

Veteran line coach Steve Morton replaced Etheridge this season while another veteran, special teams coach Dave Ungerer, took Broussard's spot and also coached the running backs.

Cougar players, when asked about Wulff's future after the Apple Cup, expressed their backing.

"I know we support him 100 percent," said junior offensive lineman B.J. Guerra. "Coach Wulff has grown on us all over the past three years. I love what he's doing. Everybody's buying in, we're supporting him 100 percent."

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• That's it for now. Wulff will meet with the media this evening and I'm sure we will have more. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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