November 28, 2011 in Sports

Wulff lobbies on his behalf, awaits Tuesday decision

Press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Elaine Thompson photo

Washington State football coach Paul Wulff was in Spokane on Monday, meeting with boosters and defending the job he has done with the Cougars. Athletic director Bill Moos is expected to make a decision on Wulff’s future by noon Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

PULLMAN – Washington State athletic director Bill Moos will hold a 2 p.m. press conference in a Bohler Gym conference room Tuesday to discuss the future of the football program.

Moos and Paul Wulff are scheduled to meet this morning, the final discussion in talks that began Sunday evening concerning Wulff’s status as head coach at his alma mater, a position he’s held for four years.

During that time the Cougars posted a 9-40 record, including a 4-32 mark in Pac-12 Conference play. They were 4-8 this season.

Last year when Wulff’s future was under discussion, his retention was announced with a simple press release.

Neither Moos or Wulff were available for comment after the press conference was announced at 7:36 p.m. But they both had talked to varied audiences quite often during the day.

Wulff and Moos both spoke in Spokane, to the media and to a booster club luncheon.

“It’s not my decision,” Wulff said of his future after the luncheon. “I’m confident we have come a long, long ways and no coach or staff would have done better with the situation.

“I’m confident Cougar football has a very bright future.”

He also felt he had done enough to stay the course.

“The people that know football know I should keep the job,” Wulff said. “The people that don’t, don’t get it. And that’s why they shouldn’t have a say in it.

“I know the people that know sports and know football programs have bent over backwards to tell me what a great job we’ve done. People that don’t know that … those people shouldn’t have an influence on a decision this big.”

The decision rests with Moos, who said more than once Monday it has been left in his hands. He also said he needs to look to the future.

“We’ve got to expect to be winners,” he said, adding the new Pac-12 media contract and its equally shared billions of dollars have changed the equation for WSU athletics.

“This is a perfect time to make a move and I’ve got to decide if we can do that with our current coaching staff or go a different direction,” Moos said at the time.

“When I came in, I was asked to rebuild the program, from academics to the societal part, to bring in better players, bring in better talent, improve the strength and conditioning, every aspect of what’s involved in a program, outside of just game day, what a lot of people see,” Wulff said. “We’ve done that and above and beyond some, to be honest. … I was willing to take bullets along the way for my alma mater. I don’t know if a lot of people would do that but I was going to do it right, and we’ve done it right”

Moos agreed, to a point.

“There is so much more to football than just the scoreboard (including) the academics, behavioral aspects of it,” Moos said. “Having said that, football is really the engine that pulls the train and when football is successful, all boats rise. It is our only revenue-producing sport. We take that very seriously as well.”

Washington State is in the process of revamping Martin Stadium, adding premium seating, luxury boxes and a new press box. The current project could cost up to $80 million and the bonds to pay for it are guaranteed by the new Pac-12 revenue. Also on the drawing board is a football operations building that Moos considers critical and could cost up to $60 million.

“We’ve got to get a product on the field that is going to excite our fan base and helps us to fill Martin Stadium,” Moos said.

Wulff excited the boosters in Spokane, who gave him a standing ovation.

“I wanted him to be here,” Moos said of Wulff attending the function when his future is in the process of being determined. “I wanted him to hear this. He needs to hear the applause of these people who are excited about him and think the world of him. I wanted to be here too.

“He’s done a lot of good things for Cougar football. He’s an alum, he’s a Cougar football player, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s embraced by our fan base. That’s the way a coach should be.”

But that may not be enough for Moos, despite recent support that Wulff praised Monday.

“Bill’s been great,” Wulff said. “He’s said ‘I got your back,’ He’s been real confident and he’s told me that all season, ‘you’re doing a great job,’ and I’ve heard nothing but ‘hey, you’re getting better all the time and it looks great.’”

– Dave Trimmer contributed to this report.


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