Washington State athletic director Bill Moos took to the airwaves on Wednesday afternoon, settling in for a discussion with 950 KJR's Ian Furness. In it, Moos touched on a variety of topics, from wrapping up the 2010 season, looking ahead to the 2011 season and discussing rumors of a quiet coaching search this year.
You can find the full interview on Ian Furness' podcast page here. Go give it a listen.
Moos did say he expects the 2011 team to win six games. The bar has been set, right? A clear, public set of expectations for Wulff and his staff, with six wins the benchmark for the 2011 season. Not quite. It's simply not Moos' style to publicly apply pressure to his coaches. I didn't expect to hear that from him, so it raised my eyebrows when I saw Ian Furness' tweet.
While he did say he expects six wins, Moos quantified that statement, saying "I do, but you gotta look at injuries and some of those things ... As I look at it at first glance, I see a chance to have six or more wins." That's not exactly a "win or you're out" statement. I'm not one to break the schedule down and pencil in wins and losses a year in advance. There's so many variables involved that it's incredibly tough to predict what will happen down the line. Just looking at the schedule, I'd agree with Moos' assessment, but a lot can change between now and September.
While six wins may be the expectation, don't take Moos' words on KJR as a set-in-stone benchmark for Wulff. That said, next year is the year to judge the team on wins and losses, something Moos made abundantly clear. If this team doesn't win, it'll be time for a change.
The other "major" revelation from the interview had to do with a quiet coaching search during the 2010 season. Were feelers sent out during the season? I'd say it's almost an absolute certainty. Obviously it's all moot now and Paul Wulff will be back, but I would never expect an athletic director at any university to come out and name potential coaching candidates they've contacted, especially when that school still has a coach under contract.
Whether it was a slip-up or not, Moos said unless he was sure he could hit a homerun and hire a BCS head coach that was winning, there was no reason to make a change. We're still Washington State. It always has been, and may always will be, incredibly difficult to hire a "name" head coach. Paul Wulff is our coach and Washington State is his dream job. If he can get it together and win in 2011 after laying the foundation over the past three years, maybe we've got a coach for a long time.
Moos said he never contacted Bellotti, outside of normal phone call between friends discussing topics unrelated to the head coaching position. What else would you expect him to say? He can't say he spoke with Bellotti and the former Oregon head coach turned him down. With the decision made to keep Wulff, acknowledging anything along those lines undermines the current staff and is, in my opinion, unprofessional.
Finally, when discussing when and how the decision to keep Paul Wulff was made, Moos said he had basically made his mind up before the Apple Cup. He did say if the Cougars had been blown-out in the Apple Cup, it may have been time for a change, but added it was likely he would stay the course either way. Again, that fits in with what we figured heading into the game. The decision was all but made during the weeks leading up to the Apple Cup, leading to a swift announcement the following day.
As always, Moos spoke his mind and was relatively open when talking to Furness and Puckett. He has a vision for the direction of the program he oversees and wants consistent winners, as we all do. Let's just hope he's right about those six wins.