WSU athletic director Bill Moos has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference to discuss the future of the football program.
Monday was a brisk day of football-coaching news in the Pac-12 Conference, but a decision at Washington State on Paul Wulff will wait until Tuesday.
Athletic director Bill Moos, mulling Wulff’s future after the Cougars finished a 4-8 season with a 38-21 loss in the Apple Cup Saturday, has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference at Bohler Athletic Complex to discuss the future of the program.
Moos and Wulff on Monday attended a weekly booster luncheon in Spokane. Afterward, the coach told reporters, “The people that know football know I should keep the job. The people that don’t, don’t get it, and that’s why they shouldn’t have a say in it.”
Wulff’s program has improved significantly from his start in 2008, but is 9-40 over four years, worst in school history. The Times has reported that Moos would dismiss Wulff and that former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach would be the top choice to replace him.
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There has been speculation that with a stream of coaching vacancies in recent days, Leach would become a hot commodity, and if WSU thought it couldn’t land him or a suitable backup candidate, it would work in favor of Wulff’s retention.
Moos told ESPNNorthwest.com in Spokane that he would meet again later with Wulff, following their Sunday meeting.
“The bulk of what we had to talk about, in my opinion, we did,” Moos said, referring to his fact-finding mission. “When we meet again, we’ll hear more about what his thoughts are.”
The Cougars were hamstrung this year by quarterback injuries, in particular a broken clavicle to standout Jeff Tuel in the opener. They finished last in the Pac-12 North at 2-7, beating Colorado and Arizona State.
“I’m confident we’ve come a long, long ways and no staff could have done better,” Wulff told reporters.
Moos, asked if the Cougars were able to spend sufficient money for a potential new hire, said, “We’ll have to work through it. We do have the new (Pac-12) television money, which is going to be very helpful. It does give us some money to go in that direction, if we want to do that.”
Meanwhile, Arizona State announced the firing of former WSU and Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson. Like most schools, ASU would probably love to attract Boise State’s Chris Petersen, but he has rebuffed many overtures in the past.
Other names advanced for that process include Houston’s Kevin Sumlin, whose team is unbeaten; Southern Mississippi’s Larry Fedora; and Mike Bellotti, the former Oregon coach. Bellotti has said he is interested in returning to coaching, particularly in a warm-weather site.
At UCLA, former Washington coach Rick Neuheisel was also fired, but will work the Bruins’ game for the Pac-12 championship Friday night at Oregon.
“We all know what we’re getting into when we get into this profession,” Neuheisel told reporters on a conference call Monday. “I’m excited for the challenge Friday. If it’s going to be the last time at UCLA, I want to make it special.”
Quoting sources, the Los Angeles Times said Petersen would be the first coach contacted by the Bruins in their search, with a capability of paying some $3 million to a head coach, and $2 million for the combined assistants’ salaries.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org