All season, through his entire four years, there has never been a shortage on different opinions on Paul Wulff. That certainly was not aided by Moos’s statement from tonight. I could be wrong, but the consensus on twitter and different social media outlets seems that Wulff should be gone. Part of that could be because the Paul Wulff supporters are less noisy right now, it’s hard to defend something for so long, but I think that part needs to be looked at once again. Without further adieu, I present to you, the loyal and well-educated readers of Coug Center, my case for retaining coach Paul Wulff as our head coach.
First let me just say this—I understand how bad we have been the past four years. I have been at every home game and most Seattle games not ever leaving early, sitting my butt down through every difficult defeat, even when it seemed they could not possible get more pathetic. I was disappointed this year when we didn’t make a bowl game, coming up several games short. I get all of the frustrations we have.
With that in mind, I still feel it’s extremely important to retain Paul Wulff next year, and part of the reason I say that is because of every second I’ve wasted watching our team over the past four years. Here is what is absolutely undeniable: the talent on the field has improved drastically over the past four years. We all know that, and to say anything else is lying. We have more talent at every position on the field with the exception of punter.
Many of you will point to another undeniable, and somewhat unforgivable truth, we have gone through a historically awful stretch of football with him. .187 winning percentage is simply awful. That has to get better, but I have no doubt in my mind it will.
A wise man once told me that you don’t win in the PAC-10 (12) with mostly Sophomores and Juniors. You know what guys; we were thisclose to winning with those. You guys saw the difference a QB made in the ASU game, you saw how close Connor came to willing us back into that Utah game. The quarterback is so vital to football, and we had a guy who simply couldn’t beat you playing almost all of our games. That is not a knock on him, he wasn’t going to lose you games like a lot of QB’s would, but he just couldn’t beat you with his arm, and we had two guys capable of doing so who couldn’t play (or weren’t ready for the first half of the season.) While some jest at Walden’s Peyton Manning comparison (rightfully so, the dude is off his rocker) you can’t deny the importance of the position.
The staff has improved drastically. Sturdy has gone from a guy we ALL wanted gone to a guy that was making fantastic calls one after another. The defensive game plan seems to have improved. With the exception of special teams (ahhh) we seem to be better coached at every position than we were when Wulff started here. Does he need to be more aggressive and not give up on games so early? Absolutely, but those are fixable things, and things that may fix themselves as he feels more job security.
Does that mean there isn’t a chance that Paul Wulff fails still? There absolutely is, maybe a good one, but the risk is one that we should take. He has built this program the right way.
A very, very important aspect that cannot be overlooked is what would happen if Wulff succeeds here: the guy will never leave. WSU is his dream job, and he will be here building a program with respect for the next 30 years.
Some of you say he hasn’t changed the program enough and that he hasn’t done enough to warrant his detainment (retainment... whoops) —that is a very real possibility. My question: how will we ever know if we don’t give him another year?
We could potentially get a guy like Mike Leach. That seems like an awesome short-term solution. My question: is it really long term? Mike Leach will either fail here and be fired, be mediocre and stay, or be great for four years and move on. Would that really leave our program in a better spot than it is now? We cannot forget Tony Bennett: every coach uses this as a stepping-stone.
The general consensus is that if we give him another year, we have to give him an extension. I agree with that. One thing I don’t think would be that difficult is for Moos to say, if you don’t reach x amount of wins, you must resign with no buyout. I wouldn’t say Wulff having any sort of problem with that.
In the grand scheme of things, if Wulff fails, it’s just one year gone. 20 years from now, the program will recover from one year. We will never say, “Gosh, I’m really upset we gave Wulff another year. That sent our program in a spiral that made us suck for 20 years.” I really don’t think that is a realistic thing to happen. If we fire him, there is a very real chance that in 20 years, after 5 different coaches and a program that never reaches the vision of consistency that Wulff has, we think, “Gosh, I really wonder what would have happened if we gave Wulff one more year. That guy would have never left.”
The guy has put his heart and sole into the job. You know the difference between Wulff and most coaches? Most coaches want their teams to be successful because it’s their job, because their income relies on it, and because they pride themselves in their work. Not that those are bad reasons. But Wulff wants to do a good job for more than: he wants to the Cougs to be a powerhouse forever in the same way we all do as fans. He truly is a Cougar, and that is something that cannot be ignored, or we may regret what we do for years to come.