The name Sweeney still has a cachet in Pullman, dating back to the eight years Jim Sweeney coached the Cougars.
Though the Cougars won just 26 games those years (1968-1975), Sweeney’s personality allowed him to earn a place in the hearts of Cougars fans.
After he left Pullman, Sweeney moved to Fresno State, where he coached the Bulldogs for 19 seasons, winning 144 games and taking the Bulldogs to seven bowls.
And that’s the Jim Sweeney his grandson Beau, born not long after FSU’s 11-1 California Bowl season of 1989, knows and loves.
“As far as my lifetime, he was at Fresno State,” Beau said of Jim. “I know the people still love him there and he’s what, pretty close to 15 years out of coaching. He’s awesome.”
Though Beau’s father, Kevin, who quarterbacked Fresno in the mid-1980s, spent many of his formative years in Pullman, Beau has never visited. He said this will be his first trip to the Palouse. Though he won’t be alone.
“I want to say there are 20 to 25 aunts, uncles and cousins who will be there,” he said, most of whom will make the trip from the Seattle area. “I have a lot of family from up there.”