Our coverage of Bill Moos' introductory press conference at WSU is ready to go, so we have some time now to go into what Moos had to say in greater depth. We also have a short story on the link, which focuses on his contract, the largest an athletic director at WSU has ever received. Read on.
• WSU president Elson S. Floyd opened the press conference by praising Jim Sterk's tenure at Washington State. He then moved into the search for Sterk's replacement and why it was so quick. He wants the best and the brightest at WSU, Floyd said, and whenever he surveyed those who knew, Moos name was at the top of the list. Then there was the wave of support for Moos among the Cougar faithful, a Maverick-sized wave if you will. Finally, Floyd ended his remarks with sharing the particulars of Moos' contract (see below). ...
• Then it was Moos' turn. If you read our coverage of his public forum from last week, then you have an idea of the stories Moos relayed, so we won't go into those. We will, however, touch on the high points. ...
• His priorities: Moos talked with the athletic department staff for 10 to 15 minutes earlier in the day and he outlined his plans when he takes over, sometime between now and May 1, based on when he can get personal business taken care of (again, see below). "I plan on one-on-one dialogues," with everyone in the athletic department, Moos said, "then assess it, take a good look at it, observe – a lot of watching, lot of listening – and then, an executive staff that I will choose will retreat and draw up our game plan from our vision. A blueprint that then will be implemented. And then that will be the direction of Cougar athletics for years to come." Later, Moos said he hopes to have this blueprint done by the start of the next school year. He said that was his strategy at Montana and Oregon. "I think that someone who comes in a breaks up the furniture and makes a big splash is usually looking for their next job. And I'm not going to have a next job." ... He reiterated one thing he wants to focus on is the culture. "I will never look at the program I'm responsible for as underdogs," he said.
• The football program: He said he reflects back to his first two years at WSU, when the Cougars were 1-9 and 1-10. "Within two years, after the 1-10 season, we were 17th in the nation," Moos said. "It was about getting talent in here and having stability in the coaching staff." He recognized the past two, three years have not been great for Cougar football but in his observations and in talking with coach Paul Wulff, "we've had a very good recruiting year on the back of a pretty good one the year before." He's hoping that will transform into victories this fall. "We all could benefit from that and I'm hopeful that will happen," he said.
• Phase III: Moos didn't bury the Martin Stadium renovation but he didn't sound ultra supportive either. "I think it is important," he said. "I've got to take a look at if that should be the No. 1 facility priority." When he spearheaded the Autzen Stadium expansion, he said, the school had just led the Pac-10 in attendance in regards to percentage of capacity for five consecutive years. That certainly isn't the case here. "Whether it's now or down the road, we need to address the Phase III ... but certainly when it's more of a supply-and-demand issue, it's easier to get it done." So where does president Floyd stand? "We've had discussions, but not in-depth discussions," Moos said. "I know he's supported ... Phase III and I'm certainly not saying there's a chance we're going to scrap it at this point. I just want to get educated (about) it, take a good hard look and go from there." Moos said other facility improvements might include the weight room, locker rooms, outside turfs, etc. "We'll look at all of that and make a priority list."
• The Oregon agreement: Moos went through this one quickly, saying it was between he and Oregon. But he said there is nothing in that agreement that would affect the WSU job. "I work for Elson Floyd and the Washington State University Cougars and they're getting 100 percent of my attention." He talked a little about Oregon's No. 1 booster, Nike's Phil Knight and how that relationship was cultivated. "I would have been a fool not to develop a friendship with Phil Knight," Moos said. He is interested in developing those type of relationships with WSU boosters.
• There was more, of course, but we've covered the high points. We put together the following short story for tomorrow's S-R, complimenting John Blanchette's column, which we will link in the morning. Here's what we had ...
PULLMAN – When Bill Moos takes over as Washington State's athletic director sometime before May 1, he'll become the highest paid person at the position in school history.
At Moos' introductory press conference Wednesday, WSU president Elson S. Floyd wasted little time in relaying the particulars of Moos' seven-year agreement.
Floyd prefaced his remarks by saying the average guaranteed compensation for Pac-10 athletic directors is $400,000 a year according to one study.
Moos will be guaranteed $455,000, Floyd said, along with some bonuses and incentives.
"It is over the average," Floyd said. "I want it to be over the average. We are not an average institution, so we don't pay at that level.
"It's reasonable, it's fair, it's appropriate."
Moos said the bonuses and incentives are based on graduation rates, fund-raising, retention and post season play.
"They are pretty standard in the industry," Moos said.
By comparison, WSU men's basketball coach Ken Bone will make $650,000 in guaranteed money this year, while football coach Paul Wulff will earn $600,000 if his deferred money is added in. Both have bonuses and incentives built into their contracts.
Floyd was paid $625,000 in 2009 according to published reports. University of Washington athletic director Scott Woodward was paid $337,092 in 2009 according to the State of Washington's office of financial management salary survey.
Former WSU athletic director Jim Sterk's compensation package totaled nearly $300,000.
• Moos will not take over for a month or so partly because of family obligations, both with his parents in Wenatchee and with his in Valleyford.
He said his sister, on the faculty at the University of North Carolina, is coming next week to help examine options with their parents, who are having health issues.
And the Moos ranch south of Spokane needs to be put in order. He knows his new job won't allow time for the day-to-day work of a cattle operation.
"I feed cattle every day," he said. "It's time to process them, time to get them to slaughterhouses. I've got to get that done and figure out what do with that operation."
He'll also use the time, he said, "traveling and reacquainting myself with alums and friends of Washington State."
• That's all for now. We'll be back in the morning. Until then ...