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Wonder who makes what, working for the state? We can show you

To search the updated database of state employees' salaries, click here.

OLYMPIA – The best-paying state jobs in Washington are still in academia, with the very best in athletics.

The annual listing of salaries for all state employees shows once again that the biggest paychecks in 2011 went to staff at either the University of Washington or Washington State University, with the top five going to coaches of the two schools’ football and basketball teams.

Husky football coach Steve Sarkisian tops the list of state employees with an annual salary topping $2.5 million. He also saw the biggest increase from 2010, with an increase of $546,000.

University officials are always quick to point out, however, that salaries for coaches and the other athletic departments’ staffs don’t come out of state tax dollars. They are covered by a combination of ticket sales and broadcast revenues.

UW basketball coach Lorenzo Romar is second, with a little more than $1.2 million. WSU basketball coach Ken Bone, former WSU football coach Paul Wulff and former UW assistant coach Nick Holt round out the top five before the first non-coach, WSU President Elson Floyd shows up on the list at $625,000.

The list represents all payments made to state employees. . .

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WSU, the APR and links

COUGARS

Figured a quick blog post detailing WSU's APR numbers — which were released for all schools yesterday by the NCAA — would be a pertinent way to start your Thursday. So here it is. Read on.

Catching up to WSU’s commitments

COUGARS

There's been quite a bit of news on the recruiting trail during the past 48 hours or so, and as such, we have a quick post for you this morning catching you up to speed. Read on.

Another nice Friday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I really can't think of a better way to end the workweek. I warmed up a cup of Thursday's coffee, opened up the computer and began reading stories from Miami, San Francisco and Seattle about subjects as varied as the NBA Finals, the U.S. Open and the Mariners. Throw in the time I spent reading the S-R this morning and, yep, I can't think of a better way to start my Friday. Read on.

Brophy coach: Bruggman is ‘a man of his word’

COUGARS

Had a chance to speak this afternoon with Brophy Prep coach Scooter Molander about the commitment of quarterback Tyler Bruggman to Washington State. Read on for a partial transcript.

Touted QB commits to Cougars

COUGARS

Several outlets are reporting this afternoon that Brophy Prep (Phoenix) quarterback Tyler Bruggman has given a verbal commitment to play his college ball at Washington State. Read on for more.

A transfer, plus an addition for WSU

COUGARS

Checking back in again this morning with a couple of small, but notable news items on the Washington State football front. Read on.

Look forward or behind; it’s your choice today

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Yep, summer's here. Not officially, mind you. That's not for a couple weeks yet. But unofficially, it's summer time in the sporting world. Sure, hockey playoffs are still going on (the only NHL team I've ever seen live is leading the Stanley Cup finals 2-0) and the NBA isn't even to its final series yet, but those two winter/spring sports are on their last legs. What does this all mean to the Inland Northwest sports fan? It means if you want to read about local sports that aren't named baseball or softball, you either have to look back … or ahead. There is little in the way of today in college football or basketball. Read on.

Cougs lose a player, plus links

COUGARS

We check back in this morning with a small bit of news — but news nontheless — regarding a scholarship player leaving the Washington State football team. We also have other collections of words and sentences for you to read. Onward.

WSU links, and the best catch you’ll ever see

COUGARS

It's been a while since we greeted you in the morning, so we'll go ahead and pass along some links today that we thought you might enjoy. Plus some non-WSU video — with a Cougar-related backstory — that is just too incredible not to share. Read on.

A wide range for the morning

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's an eclectic mix we present for you this morning, with links ranging from New Jersey, where former Gonzaga star Adam Morrison had a tryout with the Nets, to Tampa, where the Bucs said goodbye to Kellen Winslow and sent him to the Seahawks. Read on.

Links on a Thursday

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — This is why we toil through the winter months out here — it's mid-May, and I'm writing this in the middle of the night with the screen door open and a nice breeze blowing through the apartment. Ahh, summer weather in spring. Read on for some more reading material.

Checking back in with some WSU links

COUGARS

FROM SEATTLE — Heading back to the Palouse this morning, but wanted to put this post together first because there are a few links out there worthy of your attention. Read on.

Lighting up your day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

When I started this morning, the temperature outside was in the mid-30s. Now it is in the mid-40s. Oh the power of sunshine. Now if the sun could only make up for no Mariner game and little other news to link. Read on.

Maybe it’s just a short-term lease

A GRIP ON SPORTS

One of the definitions of ownership is “legal right of possession; proprietorship.” Sounds like what the Mariners have over the Tigers right now. Read on.

Leach talks mustaches, other musings

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We have a few WSU-related links to pass along. Continue reading if you want to continue reading. We'll keep it short.

Get out your No. 2 pencil

A GRIP ON SPORTS

A little known fact: I grew up next to a major league baseball pitcher. A former Mariners pitcher. And, from time to time, I would spend a few days with him in Seattle. Once, while driving to the Kingdome, he made a statement that resonated through the years last night, following the last out of the M's loss, an out that prompts a little baseball etiquette lesson. Read on.

We present an alternative today

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's going to be the nicest day of the year in the Inland Northwest today, so if you can, get out and enjoy it. If you can't, say because you have to something mundane like working to support yourself and loved ones, well, sit in front of your computer and read today's post. It's almost as good as being outside in sunny, 70-degree weather. Almost. Read on.

Recapping a busy day on the Palouse

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Sometimes, slow days can be a relief. But we've had a number of those this spring, so yesterday's events were a welcome change. Read on for a summation.

Running around on a Monday morning

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We're going to get right at it today, not because there is anything earth-shattering to relate or any incredibly important place for me to go. No, we're getting right at it because we're running late today and want you to have your morning update. Read on.

Every day is big now

A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED: 9:40 A.M.

Sunday mornings were always a chore – and a joy – growing up in the newspaper world. The papers were huge, and when your family made its living making sure those papers were in folks' driveways first thing in the morning, that was a chore. But the papers were huge, which made them a joy to read. Times have changed. Read on.

• UPDATE: Now I don't make it a habit to read obituaries, but today while eating breakfast I spied the picture in this one and decided to read it. As it was intended, it made me laugh, which makes it worthwhile to pass along just for that. But there's an even bigger payoff in Larry McKay's obit, if you are a Mariners' fan. You have to read all the way down to the penultimate paragraph, but it's worth it. This is the type of sendoff I want.

Recover with our links

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — If your Cinco de Mayo involved a few too many Coronas, nurse your headache by taking in our Sunday morning links. There aren't many, so you might want to take some Advil, too.

At least it’s not limbo

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Though I make jokes about it occasionally here on the blog, I really don't yell at the radio or television much. Usually it's more of an under-the-breath mutter about this or that. But that changed last night in the seventh inning of the Mariners' game with Minnesota. And the screaming was cathartic. Read on.

Memories from Pullman

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Over the course of covering Washington State football for five years, I dealt with a diverse group of players. There were small ones, big ones, tall ones, short ones, fast ones and not-so-fast ones. They all sort of melded together in the memory banks after awhile. But one guy stood out for something he used to do on the sidelines at practice. And now that guy is in the news again. Read on.

Mike Leach’s best quotes of the spring, plus links

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — With news getting leaner by the day — though we do have some — we're going to have a little fun this morning by passing along Mike Leach's five best quotes of the spring. Read on for the list, as well as some links.

Making a little progress

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There was a lot of response yesterday to my thoughts on remaining a Mariner fan. To be honest, I appreciate the advice, but have yet to make up my mind. It isn't a results-based analysis, so the fact the M's lost again yesterday isn't really a factor. It's more about the process, which starts at the top and filters down to the field. Read on.

Is it time to bail?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It just may be time. Time to sell my allegiance. Time to give up being a Seattle Mariner fan and start rooting for another team. Time to root for a team with an ownership that wants to win consistently and is willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Or is it the wrong thing to do? Read on.

Two negatives make a positive, right?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There was an old song sung by The Carpenters that included the lyrics, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” So what happens when Monday is a rainy day? Do two downs make an up? All I know is I'm feeling a bit low watching it pour outside my window right now when there aren't a lot of links falling from the Internet sky. Read on.

A strange and wonderful Sunday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

What a day. The alma mater is headed to the NCAA semifinals and I read a headline I thought I would never see in my lifetime. Read on.