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From Pullman — Yesterday Bill Moos appeared on Cougar Calls and WSU coach Mike Leach made a guest appearance. We've transcribed some of the highlights. While the call was centered on football, Moos also touched on the men's and women's basketball teams. We've got a blog post recapping the men's weekend in the desert, while the women will take on Washington tomorrow … Moos also reiterated that the Apple Cup won't be on Friday next year … It appears that former WSU football coach Paul Wulff has found gainful employment … The Pac-12 is losing a lot of talent in football this offseason. Both underclassmen and seniors are preparing for the NFL draft … In the true Boulder spirit, Colorado has been climbing the men's basketball polls … Last night was the end of the BCS era, and it went out with a bang.
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. . .
FROM SEATTLE — There's just enough news to link to on this Saturday that we'll put together a morning post for you. Read on.
FROM SEATTLE — Over on the west side of the state for a few days, and the WSU news keeps coming — Cougfan.com is reporting that Paul Wulff has been hired as an offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers.
I've spent the last couple hours trying to track down some details, but messages left for both Wulff and the 49ers have not been returned yet. According to Cougfan, Wulff didn't want to go into much detail about the position, so little is known about what his duties might be.
I'll update when I can obtain more information.
About midway into Idaho's final spring scrimmage, Paull Wulff and his family sat down just below the press box at the Kibbie Dome. He was in Moscow to take in some football, and near the end he talked with the S-R about his last few months.
In this Oct. 24, 2009, file photo, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach talks with his team during an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas. Today, Leach will be introduced at noon in Pullman as the new Washington State football coach. Story here. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
- Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
- Monday Scanner Traffic/DFO, HucksOnline
- Clear skies, cold air, moderate pollution/Mike Prager, SR
- Doug Clark: Voters just aren't Tuckered out yet/SR
- Idaho Vandals land 6 on all-WAC second team/SR
- Diamond ring, silver coin donated to Red Kettle/KREM2
- Foster parents plead innocent in Karina Moore death/David Cole, Press
- DEQ calls for open-burn ban in North Idaho/Bill Buley, Press
- Hate crime alleged in attack on gay boy/Meghann Cuniff, SR
- Idaho Falls soldier dies of injuries from Afghanistan bomb/KHQ
- Video captures Spokane pitbull attacking, killing smaller dog/KREM
- Some stolen goods from Kootenai County burglaries found/Anusha Roy, KXLY
On Tuesday, Washington State – in the view of one of its old guard – lost its innocence. On Wednesday, the Cougars lost their minds. In the very best way, of course – providing you’re not wedded to a 1980s way of how Wazzu fits into the football jigsaw puzzle or bearish on how universities do their sweaty show business nowadays. For really the first time since college athletics became a runaway train, the Cougars have scrambled on board. Barely 24 hours after he’d officially lopped Paul Wulff and his $600,000 annual salary off the payroll as head football coach, athletic director Bill Moos leveraged $11.25 million of the school’s share of the upcoming Pac-12 television bonanza to hire a replacement/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
- Also: Cougars QBs excited about future/Vince Grippi, SR
Question: Do you expect improving WSU to go to a bowl game in 2012?
In this 2009 AP file photo, then Texas Tech coach Mike Leach talks with his team during an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas. Reportedly, Leach has been offered the head coaching job at Washington State.
Bill Moos has said all along he wants to make Washington State a destination for coaches, not a waystation. “This place deserves big-name people,” he said earlier this week during the press conference announcing Paul Wulff’s firing. Wednesday, Moos roped in one of the bigger names in the college football coaching ranks, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. Leach agreed in principle to a five-year contract that will pay him more than $10 million, according to athletic department sources. He’ll be introduced as WSU’s 32nd head football coach at a press conference Tuesday/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.
Question: Did WSU do the right thing by letting Paul Wulff go and hiring Mike Leach?
So if Mike Leach isn’t the next football coach at Washington State, where will the collective emotional crash fall on the Jeff-Tuel’s-shoulder/Connor-Halliday’s-liver scale? We got a taste of it Tuesday, when all the go-to media for preposterous rumor – Twitter, Facebook, iPhone and the backyard fence – had Paul Wulff’s firing augmented by arrival via private jet of Cougar fandom’s most wanted, the charismatic litigant late of Texas Tech. Yes! Bill Moos is going to announce the new coach – Leach – as he dismisses the old one! Raise the flag! Make those 2013 Rose Bowl reservations now! And a private plane from points east did indeed land at Pullman-Moscow Regional shortly after noon. Open swung the cabin door. Out came … well, a couple with more ties to the AARP than the NCAA. Good thing no one made banners and sent out the marching band/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP file photo of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach)
Question: Do you think WSU can attract a big dog to take over football coaching duties?
TWolf22: Is Wulff a great coach? Probably not. But Pullman is not exactly Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix or even Eugene. What does Pullman have to offer a Blue Chip recruit after visiting the glitz of the big time schools who are also courting him? It is the rare instance when a legitimate big time recruit decides to go to WSU over any other big time D-I school. Hey big guy, just look at all the wheat. Never mind the big city flash and all that go with it, come and hunker down in the winter and make snow angels. Let’s face it, WSU is going to continue to be where they have historically been in the PCC, Pac 8, Pac 10, and now the Pac 12. Unfortunately … at the bottom.
Question: Would Washington State and UIdaho be able to attract more top-level recruits if they were located at Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, respectively?
Paul Wulff speaks at a news conference after he was fired as football coach at Washington State, in Pullman, Wash., this afternoon. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)
- Wulff: schools get into the boat of cycling through coaches every 4 years they never get over that hump and I don't want that for my school — KXLY.
- He was fired as a coach. But he was not fired as a #Cougar — Patchin — 700 ESPN.
- Would you take this challenge on again? "Hmmm, not unless I was guaranteed X amount of (years) coaching" — 700 ESPN.
- Wulff: "I don't think there is a lot of things we could have done differently" — KREM.
- It should be noted how professional Paul Wulff is conducting his Q&A right now. Focusing on the players' future — Daily Evergreen.
- Wulff says he would like to be a head coach again. "I don't have to be, but I think I would want to" — SR.
- Wulff: Cougs don't eat our own. Innocence of WSU has been lost here — SR.
Washington State athletic director Bill Moos shows an architect's rendering of the $80 million Martin Stadium remodeling project the WSU Board of Regents in Pullman, Wash., 10 days ago. Today, he's explaining why he fired football coach Paul Wulff this morning. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)
WSU AD Bill Moos said moments ago in presser that lack of excitement and lowest giving among potential donors were key to his decision to fire football coach Paul Wulff this morning. He pointed out that WSU is planning to spend $80 million on football stadium renovations and has another $80 million worth of needs in the football program. Therefore, he said, the football program needed "energy" and a "spark" to get fans excited. Now, he said, he will begin a search for a new coach immediately and hopes to have that person in place in two or three weeks in order to keep some of the high school players who have verbally committed to Washington State. In the question-and-answer period that's still going on, Moos said WSU should be vying for conference championships and not content to settle for mediocrity.
Question: Who would you like to see as WSU's next football coach?
Paul Wulff has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at Washington State, The Spokesman-Review has learned. He was told in a meeting with Bill Moos this morning. Here is the link to my story. More to come.
WSU Head Coach Paul Wulff turns away from the Cougar huddle late in the Apple Cup game against Washington at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. WSu wound up on the losing end of the Apple Cup 38-21 Saturday. Wulff was meeting with WSU AD Bill Moos this morning to see whether he'll be back as Cougar coach to finish the final year of his 5-year contract.
- Update (via SWX tweet): Paul Wulff to hold his own Q&A session at 3 p.m. in Pullman - one hour after #Moos presser
Paul Wulff has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at Washington State, The Spokesman-Review has learned. He was told in a meeting with Bill Moos this morning. Moos and Wulff met 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/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.
Question: Do you agree with the decision to fire Paul Wulff? I don't.
Washington State coach Paul Wulff, right, walks onto the field with players before an NCAA college football game against Washington in Seattle. Wulff canceled his regular Sunday evening conference call with reporters. Washington State finished 4-8 this season after losing to archrival Washington in the Apple Cup. Wulff could learn as early as today whether he will be allowed to return for his fifth year as head coach of the Cougars. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The president of the university, Elson Floyd, has long felt Paul Wulff isn't right as football coach. The athletic director, Bill Moos, believes Paul Wulff is the long-term answer, and has said as much many times. In the next 24 to 48 hours we may well discover whether the athletic director is setting the direction for the athletic department or the president is/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.
Question: Should Paul Wulff be retained as head coach of the Washington State Cougars after four losing seasons?
Since they let the fans pick the uniforms online last week, maybe the next step for the Washington State Cougars is to let them call the plays from the stands. On the next-to-last snap before halftime here Saturday night, quarterback Jeff Tuel ducked and wiggled and shuffled to buy himself more time for a pass downfield, and what he bought himself was a long incompletion and a vicious lick from Oregon State linebacker Tony Wilson. One second remained and WSU coach Paul Wulff, even with a timeout in his pocket, either out of compassion or common sense ordered Tuel to take a knee on the final play rather than wager on a miracle from midfield. And thousands among the 49,219 gathered – egads, they drew more here for Grambling – for the misbegotten idea of the Cougs ceding a Pacific-12 Conference home game off campus booed/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP photo: Coach Paul Wulff, right, protests an unnecessary roughness penalty)
Question: Is it time to get a new coach and a new direction for Washington State?
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/Vince Grippi, SportsLink. More here.
Question: Do you agree with the decision to bring Coach Paul Wulff back for another year as head coach of the WSU Cougar football team?
- Monday Poll: 50 of 110 respondents (45.45%) voted that Washington State should keep football coach Paul Wulff, no matter what happens at the Apple Cup. An additional 16 of 110 respondents (14.55%) said Wulff should be retained as coach, if the Cougs beat Washington. However, 34 of 110 (30.91%) said Wulff should be fired no matter what happens in the Apple Cup. 10 voters were undecided.
- Today’s Poll: Do you want a two-year ban on congressional earmarks?
In August, while interviewing new Washington State athletic director Bill Moos for the first time, he told me a story about his 1971 Cougars team. After suffering several lopsided losses during Jim Sweeney’s first three years of rebuilding the program, the Cougars won a game they weren’t supposed to, shocking a Stanford team, 24-23, that went on to win the Rose Bowl behind quarterback Jim Plunkett. Moos said that victory over Stanford was validation that their efforts were paying off. And it served as a springboard for the 1972 season, when the Cougars went 7-4 and finished ranked No. 17 in the nation. Saturday’s 31-14 win at Oregon State is the validation this year’s Cougars needed and it could serve as a springboard for a dramatic turnaround in 2011. But this is just part of the reason I believe head coach Paul Wulff needs to be brought back next season/Derek Deis, ESPN Northwest. More here.
Question (from KXLY’s Melissa Luck): Did WSU’s win over Oregon State save Coach Paul Wulff’s job?