Report: Eastern Washington's Wulff to replace Doba at Washington State

Updated: December 10, 2007, 11:25 PM ET
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Eastern Washington coach Paul Wulff will become Washington State's new football coach, a person familiar with the selection process told The Associated Press late Monday.

The WSU source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make the announcement.

The Pacific-10 Conference school has scheduled a Tuesday news conference on its Pullman campus to announce its new coach.

The Cougars have been looking for a replacement for Bill Doba, who stepped down last month at age 67 after posting a 30-29 record in five seasons.

Washington State athletic department spokesmen did not immediately return phone calls for comment and Wulff did not immediately return a message left at his home Monday night.

The source confirmed Wulff's name was forwarded to WSU President Elson S. Floyd and athletic director Jim Sterk from about seven or eight candidates who were interviewed.

Wulff, 40, has made no secret that he wanted to return to coach at his alma mater, where he was an offensive lineman from 1985-1989 and played on the Cougars' 1988 Aloha Bowl team under Dennis Erickson.

Doba's assistants were retained temporarily but Sterk has said it would be up to the new coach to decide whether he wanted to keep any of them. WSU quarterbacks coach Timm Rosenbach served as Wulff's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at EWU before taking the Pullman job in 2003.

The incoming coach will take over a 5-7 team that returns eight defensive starters and seven on offense. Despite beating cross-state rival Washington 42-35 in the Apple Cup last month, the Cougars missed a bowl game for a fourth consecutive year.

Wulff has been head coach at Eastern Washington, about 90 miles north of Pullman, since 2000 and was named Big Sky Conference coach of the year in 2001, 2004 and 2005. This year's EWU team posted a 9-4 record, losing 38-25 to Appalachian State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Dec. 1.

The coach served as Eastern's offensive coordinator in 1998-1999 and was offensive line coach at the Cheney school from 1994-1997. He has a 53-40 record as EWU head coach.

A 1990 graduate of WSU with a bachelor's degree in social science, Wulff signed as a free agent with the New York Jets, but did not play because of injuries. In 1991-1992, he played with Raleigh-Durham and New York-New Jersey of the World Football League.

WSU's Sterk said when he announced a nationwide search for Doba's replacement that the ideal candidate would have to know the Northwest and have a successful record at the top level of college football.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press