Now that EWU's season is in the books, and hats off to one hell of an effort against App State, Paul Wulff can finally comment on WSU. And guess what?? He wants the job! Wow. Never saw that coming.
Seriously, though, Wulff does want the job and said so yesterday. And as a Cougar fan and someone that's spent money on this program, I'm starting to see some more and more positives in this. Here's why:
1) He's been a winner at a not-so-easy situation at EWU, now 53-40. Sure they haven't beaten any BCS teams or anything like that, but they've done well. And it's harder than one might think in the Big Sky, yet he's had only one losing season in his eight years as the head guy.
2) He coaches a dynamic offense. From everything I've read and heard about him, it's not a true one-back like Levy runs, yet it's not the spread/read option that is all the rage you see these days either. He's supposedly flexible and knows how to play to his player strengths on offense. And he can coach 'em up too. His sophomore QB had an outstanding year this year. Overall, he's had over 200 players win some sort of honors at EWU, and that's no fluke.
3) He can turn things around quickly. Last year they won 3 games, his only losing year at EWU. This year they lose by 3 on the road at App St in the playoffs. Huge turnaround with a lot of youth in key spots.
4) Obvious WSU roots, but it goes deeper than that. He can explain to a recruit the idea of what it will be like, truly, to be a player at WSU. And even he said in the article today that he can be very honest with recruits and tell them like it is.
5) Finally, age. He's got all this experience, as a BCS player and a head guy running his own show - in eastern WA no less - and he's STILL ONLY 40! Let's be honest here, energy and stamina are important in today's climate of winning at a BCS program. And at WSU it can require even more than we can imagine. Does anyone think Wulff would put his feet up on the desk and daydream about an upcoming vacation? Is he a guy who is in the twilight and thinking alot about retirement? I doubt it.
Bottom line here - ok, he's not a "splashy" hire. He's not been a big winner at a BCS program. So what? Do you know what Dennis Erickson's record was when he was hired from Wyoming? 6-6. That's right, Erickson was a .500 coach in his only season at a D-1 school when he was hired in 1987. Price, the guy some advocate as the GUY in all this, is a .500 coach with major peaks and valleys, and was a .500 coach from Weber State when he showed up in Pullman. Is it a coincidence that Price won 8 games his first two years at UTEP, and has now turned in 2 losing seasons the last two years? It's Price. It's what he does. Some excellent highs, poop-island lows.
When you look at the big picture, Wulff is similar to these guys, but actually better, with more experience and success at the same age when they were first hired! I'm coming around on Wulff.
Meanwhile, Sterk is in NY today for an awards dinner. Any chance that Turner Gill will swing by and say hello? Gill was just passed up for Nebraska and has been rumored by ESPN as a guy high on WSU's wish list. And he's been coaching upstate at Buffalo. It wouldn't be a stretch if they took a meeting, would it?
Also mentioned is DeWayne Walker, UCLA's DC. Walker has an unbelievable reputation as a recruiter and a guy who relates extremely well to LA's kids. He also turned a soft UCLA defense into a pretty good unit over the last year or so. His agent says he's been contacted by WSU, and as soon as Dorrell is canned, he'll be available. MAYBE. Actually there are rumors Walker could take over at UCLA, so, we'll see.
All that said? Cougfan has a good article today that's free(!), that talks about WSU needing to set their sights higher. I think they are a little underwhelmed by the SR.com's list of 7 candidates. Outside of Wulff, I couldn't agree more by whatever sources Vince has at the Spokesman. That list was pretty underwhelming. It's sort of like what an old radio show host used to preach, time and again: "When you think small time, when you talk small time, and you act small time, you WILL BE SMALL TIME!" So why not shoot high and see what happens??
Finally, the Ty-Tanic at UW might have taken on just a little too much water after their latest iceberg collision of a season. Rumors of a press conference tomorrow to oust him are making the rounds. We'll see. Hopefully we don't have to compete for a head coach with those guys. There's already a lot of jobs available, and while they are down, we really don't need them in the mix as well do we? I know we won't attract the same kinds of candidates, I mean WSU and UW are oil and water, but still, I'd rather not have them with an open spot. So, from WSU Football Blog, we ask PLEASE keep TY!