Stefanie Loh introduces herself to Washington State and Gonzaga fans

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LEWISTON, Idaho — Everyone knows Bud Withers.

That’s the first thing I’ve learned through my first three days as the Seattle Times’ newest college sports reporter.

I’m the lucky gal who gets to follow in the footsteps of a guy who, it seems, earned the friendship, admiration and respect of just about every person tangentially affiliated with Washington State or college athletics on the West Coast.

Bud was an institution unto himself, and he’s probably forgotten more about WSU and Gonzaga sports history than I will ever learn in my lifetime. But my goal right off the bat is to get to know your Cougars and Bulldogs, and to find, report and craft compelling stories that take fans beyond the showbiz curtain and show you who these athletes and coaches are as people.

I enjoy examining themes, trends and issues in college sports, and I hope to bring you many such stories in the coming months. This level of sports has always fascinated me because the athletes are at an age where they are growing into themselves physically and emotionally, but the big-money business nature of collegiate athletics means that a lot of these kids are discovering themselves while also learning to juggle their responsibilities as icons and public figures. That lends itself to a myriad of interesting issues, especially with the constantly changing NCAA rules as a backdrop.

I know enough to know that I don’t know everything, and I enjoy interacting with readers and fans – many of whom have often tossed some good story ideas my way. So if you’ve ever thought, “I wish someone would write a story about this” feel free to tweet at me or shoot me an email.

A little about me: I’m a native of Singapore, but my sports journalism career started in the state of Washington when I interned at the Spokesman-Review

In my career, I’ve covered West Virginia, Penn State and San Diego State. I’ve written about everything from luge Olympians and vintage baseball teams to concussions in football, fly fishing, marijuana in sports and Title IX.

Everything interests me. So while I can’t promise that I’ll have the history of WSU football memorized by the Cougs’ home opener on Sept. 5, I can guarantee that I’ll never stop trying to learn new things about the players and programs that you love (or love to hate).