Paul Wulff has been fired as coach of your Washington State Cougars.
We'll be back after Moos' presser later this afternoon.
UPDATE: 11:20AM PST
Here's the offical statement from WSU:
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Tuesday that Paul Wulff will not return to coach the Cougars in 2012.
"Paul and I met at length Sunday, and then again today, after which I determined the best path for Cougar football moving forward is to have a change of leadership," said Moos. "I appreciate all that Paul has done for Washington State football. He was hired with the objective of rebuilding this program and establishing a solid foundation. For that I thank him."
Wulff, who Saturday completed his fourth year at WSU, compiled a 9-40 record, including a 4-8 mark in 2011. The four wins are the most during his tenure and included an upset of Arizona State and a last-minute victory at Colorado.
This season the Cougars were without starting quarterback Jeff Tuel for all but two games yet took steps forward and finished in the top half of the Pac-12 Conference in both total offense and total defense. WSU averaged 29.8 points per game this season, 11 more than in 2010 while defensively the Cougars surrendered more than four points fewer per game compared to last season.
During the 2010 campaign, WSU showed statistical improvement from the previous season in all major statistical categories while playing one of the top five most difficult schedules in the country. The year was highlighted by a 31-14 upset at Oregon State, after which Tuel was named Pac-10 Player of the Week.
Wulff was hired in December, 2007, following the five-year tenure of Bill Doba. Wulff had one year remaining on his original five-year contract.
"We will begin the process of naming the next head coach immediately," said Moos. "I will not be discussing details of the hiring process, only that I expect to name a successful candidate as soon as possible."
We do not want Erickson back again. Why? Because the team's average grade point when he left was 1.8 or there abouts. I may be in the minority here, but I want to be proud of the football and basketball players' performance in the classroom as well as the field or court. Ultimately, for all but a small number who make the pros, the sports offers a path to obtain a college education.
Leach sounds great, but would he not rather be at UCLA?
Maybe the Houston coach would be good, but why leave a state with the greatest number of top-flight high school players (or maybe second greatest after Florida) to recruit out of Pullman?
Whoever we hire, it needs to be done quickly. Wulff was handicapped in his first recruiting class by being hired so late in the process of recruiting.
I don't feel sorry for Wulff one bit. A half a million dollars is a lot of money over four years while a lot of WSU grads are swimming in student loan debts. What is that nearly 2 million dollars over four years? Even if Wullf was paid only $100,000 a year it would still be a lot of money. I just can't feel sorry for him at all in this economy. Sutra is a prophet for predicting that he would be fired. Before his article I was convinced that they would keep Wulff for next season. I'm all for giving Mike Leach a chance. We are Cougs and we are different and that is what makes us and Pullman special. I apologize for asking this but was Mike Leach actually ever convicted of anything? Wouldn't locking a quarterback in a shed be a criminal matter? Like the Penn State situation, but obviously much more minor? Even if Leach was guilty of what he did shouldn't we give a guy a second chance? Did the cougar nation abandon Ryan Leaf when he had his problems? Yeah it's different but it's all about second chances in America. I'm not pro Leach but we need to keep an open mind. Yes spend those new PAC-12 dollars let's get the best we can in the short amount of time that we have. Look with Wulff it was about the win-loss record, the majority of recruits that weren't even being approached by other PAC-12 schools, the terrible one-sided losses, the constantly-coming- out-flat in the second half, but really there are two reasons I don't feel sorry for Wulff at all. The first one is the amount of money he made, but the most important reason is Wulff's arrogance, constantly blaming Doba, the excuses,and just an all around crappy ungrateful
attitude that he projected. If it really was his dream job then he should have acted more grateful and quit making excuses. Like I said before I don't care if nobody likes him, I've never heard Lane Kiffin blame Pete Carrol or Reggie Bush or former USC AD Mike Garrett anyone else after a loss. Here is what needs to happen I think all the Wulff haters need to wish Wulff the best and let him rest. I am certain that Floyd and Moos will pay for a great replacement. We need to be really optimistic right now. Why because we are going to get a great coach and we have Halliday and Wilson and we need to build on that. That being said the new coach needs to recruit some speed from South Central and the greater Los Angeles area. We have a lot of things going for us right now. UCLA has no coach and even though USC is good potential recruits may think twice about going there with all the sanctions. We could easily get another Don Sasa, (Long Beach Poly High school). Halliday is the future we need to build around him. Wilson is a proven talent we need to build around him as well. I am very excited about next season. I can hear it now,"Halliday to Wilson.....touchdown Cougs!!!!". Spokane's finest, Connor Halliday is the future, and I predict a very bright future for the cougar nation in the near future.
According to Flight Aware.com there are an unusual number of flights in Pullman today that normally don't come in. Including flights from Boise & Pellston (NE Michigan) . I don't think either of those airports send plans to Pullman too regularly
I hate that PW was let go. I know he took a lot of heat, but he was a member of the Cougar family and he wanted to be here. I don't the same can be said for most of the name being tossed around as replacements. Some would likely only come for a year or two and that is not what this program needs. Also, I am not in the Leach camp at all. I think this would be nothing more than a stepping stone for him I can't stand that. One more point, I am a little surprised there hasn't been more Mike Bellotti speculation out there. Anyways, I sincerely thank PW for everything he did and I will miss him on the sidelines.
Put those TV dollars to work and make a good hire here - and set aside some cash for good assistants, too. I get the Leach talk and I'd love to see him there, but you've been just fine on offense; if he's hired I hope you're also ready to drop good money for a big time d coordinator and staff as well.
Alternatively, you can have ours. We might be convinced to let him go cheap...
If you get a chance, click the link at the top of the page "Mike Leach, Who will walk the plank" and read the article. It's very interesting. Then come back and discuss just how likely it is we could land him.
I'm nervous about whoever New Coach X is. We're all expecting/demanding a "splash" hire, but there are two huge questions about getting a coach of the caliber we all want: can we afford him? How long will he stay? Getting a hot assistant from a big program likely makes us a stepping stone move, which will piss us all off. If Leadh is the guy I think he'd stick around, bu if he's already lined up, why the hemming and hawing from Moos the last couple days?
Now we will truly see what influence from Moos, potetnial high dollars and a solid framework of a team can get us. Probably the best postiion WSU has been in to bargain for a new coach ever or at least since Price left.
I hope that Moos will be able to clearly articulate his vision/direction for the next coach because Wulff had much of what I believe an AD would want from any coach...loyalty, confidence, grounded in beliefs. The next coach can and should build upon the foundation that CPW laid and worked to build up. Hope Wulff does not get forgotten or only remembered for his record as WSU football moves on.
Hate to make the comparison, as I told myself I would be happy with whatever Moos decided, but this is a lot like Ty Willingham at UW. TW was hired to clean-up a downtrodden program and build a foundation of solid recruits; both things he accomplished.
Unfortunately, he wasn't the guy to turn the corner (believe he won more games than Wulff, even with a winless season), and Sark inherited the foundation and framework, but was the one who installed the granite countert-ops and bad-ass flat screen TVs.
So with a scheduled news conference in 150 minutes, does that mean a hire is going to be announced today?
This move sucks but I completely understand. I have a laundry list of defenses for why to keep Wulff. But anyone can trump me with 9-47. Thank you Paul Wulff you left the team in better shape then when you received it.
I wish Wulff the best and think he did a great job rebuilding the program. I think Longball is right in that this is a fan enthusiasm replacement, and something Moos had little choice in doing while trying to fundraise for the stadium remodel. I think Moos has to have a better alternative lined up or I don't see him making this move. I'm hoping to hear Mike Leach named shortly or someone else that will ignite the fan base.
But once again, Thank you Paul Wulff for what you contributed.
It had to be done. I believe Moos' own job would have been on the line if PW went 5-7 next year. This is for the greater good of Coug nation.
Best wishes to PW. He will always be welcomed in the Coug community and will be credited for building the foundation, just like Dick Bennett was.
I don't want to send best wishes to any assistants because I think several have a good chance of continuing to be part of the rebuild project.
I realized something about myself through this process. I am by nature conservative and do not like things where there is no history to indicate future performance. I hated the Price hire from Web St., but fought against his firing during poop island because he proved he could be successful. I hated the PW hire for the same reason. I heavily rely on past performances to indicate future potential. PW appears to be a great foundation layer, see EWU now, but maybe his personality/style isn't the one to take us to the top.
Again, thanks PW for laying the foundation!
I think all deserved praise for Wulff has been pretty well-covered in other places, so I will leave it at that. But for now: hire Mike Leach. NOW.
Like I said earlier, this is definitely not a football move, but a fan enthusiasm move. That being the case, better make one helluva hire. Also, i think we just kissed goodbye one of the best assemblages of assistant coaches we've ever had here. Tormey, Howard, Morton, Levenseller... so long gentleman.
@LucasNurmi According to KJR a private jet from Mckinney, TX landed at noon in Pullman
@CalCoug32 How do you think Leach is a bad solution because he will be gone in a few years, but think Bellotti is better (he's getting up there in age and isn't gonna be long term)?
@Huddy You can be a stepping stone school as long as you don't get stepped on along the way. Xavier, in hoops, is a great example--they lose their coach every 5 years. But they're in it every year because each coach pays it forward. And frankly, me thought the same was true with Bennett. I thought he left PLENTY in the cupboard. And frankly, those sweet 16 memories still have a shelf life of 5 more years for me..
@HuddyLeach wouldn't stay! We don't have enough money to keep him more than a year or two, if that.
@CougX I think it is by far the best position we've ever had--even in the Price years we didn't have the $$ for a top flight coach.
Plus with all that QB talent. I swear, Wulff almost worked against himself by showing the talents of Halliday. Some offensive minded coach has a gold mine in place for the next three years.
@LucasNurmi Ditto, LB. Paint Dry went 0-12 in his last year with a back-up QB...Wulff went 4-8....This program is trending UP!!!
@LucasNurmi Its not like it at all and I hate that comparison. Ty's team was spiraling downward, Wulff's was on the rise. Completely opposite trajectory's.
@LucasNurmiNow wouldn't that be interesting.
@LucasNurmi Highly doubtful. My sense is that Moos is going to do what Arizona's AD did and that is let everyone know that they will know nothing until such time that they know something.
I would, however, expect a hire by the middle of next week. We have several URGENT needs that the new coach has to fill recruiting wise--in addition to the staff.
@Dontignoreme I agree. That's exactly the bottom line.
@ptowncoug3012 Well said, welcome back P-Town. We're counting on your insights and thoughts during the search.
@TruCoug89I hope Mike Leach is NOT on the short list, or anywhere near it. He won't be in Pullman a full year if he is!
@Longball So, regardless of who the new coach is, this isn't a "football move?" You don't think it's a football move to get a coach who can more effectively recruit, develop players, and coach on game day?
@Longball Levenseller has had an amazing run. And I wouldn't count out him, Morton, Tormey, or Walker from being retained.
@Sutra continuity in hoops seems easier when you only have to bring in a couple new players every year, as opposed to 25. I hope the doo to the office of the new football coach does not become a revolving door. That was a big plus in the pros column for Wulff.
@Ambush184 Leach stayed at a smaller program in a big conference in Lubbock, Texas and had just signed an extension when the poop hit the fan. He doesn't seem like the sort to bounce around. Could be wrong of course. Everything is speculation today.
@Longball True, his final team went 0-12 and Wulff's went 4-8. That being said, the situation both coaches inherited was very similar, and the shape (as far as NFL talent in the cupboard for the new guy) is also similar. At the end of the day, neither coach who was hired to clean the program up, was the coach that took the program to the next level.
@Ambush184 Yeah true, kind of how he ditched out on his last coaching job.... oh wait he was there for 10 years, and would probably still be there for another 5 if he wasn't railroaded out
@Ambush184@TruCoug89 I think that there are lots of legit questions about Leach, his past, and his "character." But trust me on this, his offense is PERFECT for our personnel. And NOTHING would be more fun than watching us light up the scoreboard a la ASU and UNLV on a weekly basis. Mind you, from an ethical perspective, I still have issues with that hire, but with respect to football, look the freak out!
@Jenkins Nope it isnt. Moos would keep Wulff if there wasn't a push in the fan base, the Pres office and the people we are counting on with the capital projects.
@Jenkins@Longball I think one of the big questions here--one that is somewhat unanswerable--is how close we really are to winning and/or contending. IF the team is as talented as advertised, then the move is strictly PR. After all, why can a coach if HIS team is going to win mightily in the years to come?
But Jenkins, you're right, if Moos feels we're still under-talented, then it is a football move. Plain and simple.
Time will tell.....I think...
@Longball I meant Howard., not Walker
@TruCoug89@Sutra@Huddy Let me introduce you to Warren Powers and Jackie Sherril. For those of us following Cougar football since before 1997, we understand that things really changed with the stability we got from having Price for so many years. We also have basketball where the post, Raveling, Sampson and so far Bennet years have not been super great. We can definitely make good hires, but not being wary of being a resume pad is stupid.
That said, Leach is as good a bet as any to put in some good time here.
@LucasNurmi If our next coach goes 5-7 like Sark he will immediately be on the hot seat.
@Ambush184@Longball Guys, I hear you -- and despite me seemingly only pointing out instances where I disagree with you, I really do like many of the things you post -- but really, anything you say about the basis for this decision is just your opinion. To the extent you might say that Floyd had something to do with it, it's an opinion based on rumors and speculation. I'm not saying placating the fan base and trying to raise funds was completely removed from the decision, but my opinion is that there were a lot of football-related reasons for making the move here, assuming we get an upgrade (which, as is once again merely my opinion, is nearly certain).