There was lot of talk about Bill Moos’ legacy when he abruptly departed to Nebraska earlier this fall. There was talk about how he upgraded facilities and there was also criticism of his fundraising and how he handled the budget. Based on the recent success of the fall athletic programs it will be the coaches he hired.
We of course have to start with Mike Leach. Moos brought the coaching legend out of exile in Key West and WSU went from a moribund program under Paul Wulff to 4 bowl games in 5 years. A shot at a 10-win season and a terrific recruiting class coming in? The future is very bright on the gridiron. Not to mention the national attention Leach to the program with his cult of personality.
Another area where Moos made a great hire was with the women’s soccer team. After Steve Nugent left the program after one year, it looked like the Cougars were going to hard time ever finding a long-term successful head coach. Moos hired Todd Shulenberger away from Texas Tech and he took the team to the sweet sixteen of the NCAA tournament in just his third year at the helm. Not only that, but he just signed a contract extension keeping him in Pullman until 2023.
The women’s volleyball program had gone backward after the end of the Cindy Fredrick era. Moos decided to reach into that era and tapped one of Fredrick’s former players Jen Greeny as head coach. Greeny came from a successful stint at nearby Lewis-Clark State and has now taken the Cougars to their second straight NCAA tournament appearance after rebuilding the program.
Even perhaps the most maligned hire of the Moos era is looking pretty darn good. Ernie Kent has the basketball team off to a 6-0 start behind in-state recruits Malachi Flynn and Robert Franks. Moos pushing Kent to hire new assistants in Ed Haskins and Bennie Seltzer has to be a big factor as well.
It’s an astonishing record of hiring successful coaches that we should all be grateful for as Moos enters the next stage of his career in Lincoln. I cannot remember a time when all of these programs were in this good of shape at the same time. Nebraska Cornhusker fans should be excited for his next hire.
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