Letter to the fans from Bill Moos and Mike Leach

<if you didn’t recieve a snail mail letter from Bill Moos and Mike Leach you in luck. Read on>

Dear Cougar Football Fan,

Welcome to a new era for WSU Athletics. You are nobody’s underdog anymore. And we are proud to be at the forefront of this culture shift; two big dreamers who are “all in” when it comes to Waving the Flag for the Cougs. Both of us have been successful at previous career stops, and built national reputations based on demanding excellence. And both of us chose to make Pullman our home because we believe in the possibilities for excellence at Washington State University.

A lot has been said and written in the past few weeks about the lack of financial support that has been historically provided by the Cougar fan base. But we don’t believe that the will to support Cougar Athletics doesn’t exist. We are willing to take a stand for our belief in Cougars across the country. Your Athletic Director and Head Football Coach have been to the very top of the profession, and we’re serious about making WSU a national-caliber program. And now that this leadership team is in place, we believe that Cougar fans will believer national-caliber support.

Membership in the Cougar Athletic Fund, our annual scholarship giving program, is the most important way that Cougar supporters can “Wave the Flag” for the department. It is important that you understand that every CAF Member makes a meaningful, lifelong and positive impact on the lives of our student-athletes, and helps position the University to financially and competitively meet its athletic potential. It is not the size of the gift that demonstrate support…it’s the action of joining.

Do not ride the fence, and do not sit on the sidelines. Follow our lead, and let’s go “all in” together. In order to achieve our vision for Cougar Athletics, we are going to have to expand our donor base and have many more Cougars answer the call. It can be done, and we’re confident it will be. We are going to hold our heads high, and be proud to call ourselves Cougars. And we will all feel ownership when the Cougars are raising banners and lifting championship trophies, because we believed that it was possible and ACTED to make it happen.

Win the Day for Crimson and Gray….Go Cougs!

Signed Bill Moos and Mike Leach.


Moos’ big gamble.

Miss me? It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog. Sure I’ve written several drafts over the last 6 months, but I didn’t feel I had the right material to post. Before the season started we talked at the tailgate. I thought about blogging ‘the new era of cougar football starts now’ either we go bowling a start anew (no I had no idea what was in store). I drafted a weekend report from the ASU game. It felt so good to experience football again I wanted to share. Until now everything felt like a forced blog entry.

Bill Moos just made a huge gamble and it wasn’t on Mike Leach. He had house money (TV contract) to use. Moos just gambled on you and me.

In 5 years Leach may still be our HC, he may have left for another challenge or he may fail. At some point in time Mike Leach will leave the Palouse, we will be able to make a similar coaching hire? Or will we revert back to our previous state? Worst case scenario we revert back. Moos took his shot and couldn’t create a donor base and funds to make another high profile coaching hire. Best case scenario Leach wins, donor base increases and we can afford retain Leach, build the football only facility and eventually expand Martin Stadium.

The hire has already created a buzz around the program and in some regards the nation. In a few days 1K season tickets were ordered and 500K donated. And Bill Moos was able to take the stage and sell the program to our fan base.

A few months after Moos was hired I was able to talk to him. I blogged about Larry Scott attempt at the Pac 16 and asked Bill (I’m not sure if we are on first name basis or not) said give him 3 months. When the plans for Martin and the football only facility we first released I was impressed, but it was far from a holy crap moment. Maybe it’s because WSU had been talking about ‘phase 3’ for several years.

This is the holy crap moment I and many others have been waiting for. I’m excited about football weekends again. Saturdays this fall will no longer be about what we are cooking, but the games being played. I haven’t been this excited about the future of Cougar Football since the 1997 season.  And it appears the same thing is happening to our fan bases. Will it be enough? I don’t know, but it should be a hellavu ride.

Who knows maybe I’ll even start blogging again.

As always, if you have any questions about the CAF, for a CAF staffer respond to this thread. Or send them email. They want to hear from you. I’ll be meeting with them later this week and hopefully in Pullman sometime in January.

<edit> I changed the comment “I haven’t been this excited about Cougar football since” to  ‘”the future” of Cougar football’. It was exciting watching our teams in the early 00’s. Going to the Rose Bowl a second time was exciting. Sammy Moore day was great and a fun year. I’m usually excited every time I turn on the TV or get to PUllman to watch the Cougs. When Price left I was still enjoying watching football, but I wasn’t giddy about the future. I’m giddy now, can you tell?


State of My Fandom – July 25th, 2011

This is the time of year it usually happens.  Past failures and potential shortcomings are minimized and/or rationalized into insignificance.   Lowlights of the previous season are excused and highlights are…well, highlighted.  There are no storm clouds on the horizon; only glorious rays of sunshine that lead to Pasadena (or El Paso…I wouldn’t complain.)

Optimism.  It’s an affliction that affects literally millions of college football fans every year around this time.  Everybody’s undefeated.  Everybody’s all-American.

Except this year, I seem to be immune.  Maybe three consecutive seasons of bottom-of-the-barrel football has served as my inoculation.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still looking forward to Pullman in the fall.  Playing Palouse Ridge, tailgating, The Coug…I can’t wait for the season to get started so I can get together with the same old friends for the tried and true traditions of a Cougar Football Weekend.  It’s just…I don’t have much excitement for the actual football part of it.

WSU did make some significant strides in 2010, particularly on offense.  The team showed definite improvement over the course of the season, and there are some promising athletes on the roster.  We even have a QB who looks like he could be ready to be listed among the elite players at his position in the conference and he has a deep stable of receivers to throw to.  Other than Tuel and the passing offense though, is there really a unit on the team that doesn’t register at least a 6 on the Pucker Scale when they take the field?  (The Pucker Scale is an intricate and highly complex tool designed by me just now to measure how much the average Cougar fan’s sphincter tightens when they see something like LaMichael James in open space or Vontaze Burfict coming untouched through your o-line on a blitz.)

The answer to the question, by the way, is “No.”  Okay, the coverage units on special teams were decent; I think they were even statistically ranked pretty high in the country.  So we’ve got that goin’ for us, wich is nice.  But other than that, it really isn’t possible to make an objective prediction of success for any unit on this team without a big fat “IF” in front of it.  IF the o-line can start to open some holes, then Mitz, Galvin, et al might give us a respectable run game (and help Tuel stay upright by keeping opposing defenses honest.)  IF a reliable rotation can be found at D-tackle, then our athletic corps of linebackers could be freed up to make plays and the secondary might not get torched quite as often.  IF we can find one or two dependable return guys, we might get set up with decent field position more often.  And so on…  I think it’s fairly normal to have a few IF’s on a team before every season given the natural attrition in college football, and I usually end up in the glass-is-half-full camp.  But I just can’t muster the enthusiasm to fill my glass this time around.

Whether Wulff will be around after this season will sort itself out between now and November.  His track record on the field and in recruiting, the situation he inherited, his staffing decisions…they’ve all been beaten to death on the message boards since even before the start of last season, so I won’t get into all that here.  I will say that I want Wulff to succeed because that means WSU is winning.

I’m just not feeling that optimistic about it.

Whatever happens, there will be a lot to talk about before 2012 kicks off.  Hopefully my section will still have that shiny new stadium smell.


The Brand

Branding guidelines have been posted here at WSUCougars.com. I pulled two snippets from the doc I found interesting. It’s too nice a day to post more, especially when the doc covers everything….


<snip from page 5>

The Washington State Athletics brand is distinguished by a simple philosophy: To cultivate a championship athletics program that promotes excellence, quality and accountability. This new concept creates a cohesive identity program that not only respects the traditions of the university but also looks ahead to the promise of a great future.


<snip from page 7>

To promote consistency across Washington State Athletics by developing a strong, timeless and innovative athletic identity system that reflects the unique characteristics of Washington State University.


Ch Ch Ch Changes

You said you wanted to see changes at WSUAF, you got it.

Renaming the WSUAF to the Cougar Athletic Fund was one of the recent changes Moos rolled out during Spokane Week. You think Bill reads this site and came up with the name? Me either, but I’ll keep trying to convince myself he did.  Why the name change? Fund = cash and the first goal of CAF is to raise revenue from donations.  Read the press release here and see the new and improved WSUCougars.com.

My color is Crimson, but which crimson? I don’t know about you, but my closet is full of shades of red, maroon, burgundy and crimson. It’s OK for my closet to clash but a little silly when the same ‘crimson’ rainbow was present throughout our sports teams. Now they are all the same, volleyball, hoops, football etc have the same color crimson and gray. Finally! I know I’ll be hitting the Crimson and Gray store before the home opener.

TPS reports. Anyone know their TPS ranking? Anyone know how they accrued those points? Me either. I have a general idea what my ranking was last July, but not anymore. The TPS system will be streamlined. It will reward the things that help fund the program. Season Tickets and cash donations. But you’ll have to wait to know what that means. Starting July 1 at the beginning of the new fiscal year a new TPS ranking system will be introduced.

Season ticket sales and donations. Last year we tried to get a group of people to donate season tickets. Logistics within the program was the biggest challenge to purchase tickets and donate them to charities. At the Night With Cougar football I was told changes are being made and season ticket holders will be able to donate tickets by the start of Football season. Today I found out more about the new system. Season ticket holders will be able to reissue their tickets and email them to a friend for a small fee ($2.00 was the number thrown out) or add them to a pool of tickets donated to charities. Anyone think this site caused the changes? Me either, but I’ll keep telling myself it did. What really happened? Mike Marlow,  he noticed something missing and began working on a fix.  If you are on the fence about purchasing season tickets and can’t make it to all the games, pull the trigger now and you’ll be assured any games you can’t attend can be donated to local charities.

85 dollar season tickets are on sale now, so what are you waiting for?

Phase 3 and the football only facility. Many people have been talking about the new TV contract and how it will impact Phase 3. I’ve read people saying it’s a done deal, it will be approved and ready to break ground by the end of the 2011 season. While I believe that is the case there is still plenty of work to do and I’m not talking about plans. We need to raise another 20 million is cash to get these projects off the ground. The TV revenue will help pay a large portion of the projects, but we the fans need to open our wallets. As Moos says “we have the $ to do these things, the problem is that it is in your pocket”.  

What other changes are in store for CAF? More staff, 6 new hires and 6 interns. What else? Social media updates. Don’t wait for us to blog about it check them out on Facebook or at Undefeated Fans 

I’ll be having lunch with a CAF staff member in May, so if you have a question just put it in a comment to this post. Thanks for reading and Go Cougs.



It’s recruiting season. I hate recruiting season, I can’t do anything to help a 18 year old decide where they want to spend the next 4 – 5 years of their lives. I have enough trouble deciding what I want for dinner, unless it’s tailgate season. Sigh, football season seems so far away. There is good news on the football front today. The Board of Regents approved the planning stages of the new ‘phase 3’ and the football only facility today. Read the release here.

I’ll keep you updated on any plans and funding. I think you all know my thoughts on funding are by now, so I’ll spare you. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to remind you in the future.

Now that I think about it, tomorrow night I’ll spark the BBQ and cook up some peppercorn ny’s with a cognac demiglaze sauce. It’s always a good day to tailgate and think about Cougar football Saturday.


bigger, better phase 3

We’ve been waiting to hear from Bill Moos and his plans for a while now. He has been talking for months about facility upgrades and putting phase III on hold. The wait is over, below is a letter he recently sent to donors who signed up for Phase III seats.

Early in 2011 Bill Moos will ask the Board of Regents to approve a plan to move Phase III to the south side, include updates to the press box and build a football only facility on the west side of the stadium. Everyone wins, phase III fans and the facility upgrade crowd. Bill Moos is doing what I expected him too, (not the upgrades per se) he is thinking big. And his actions are louder than his words.

All sports and student athletes will benefit from the facility upgrades and revenue generated by Phase III. Football will move into the new facility leaving more room and better facilities for all other sports.

President Floyd made a big investment in Cougar athletics when he hired Bill Moos. And now Bill Moos is making a big investment in Cougar Athletics. (~70 million).

It’s time for us to stop talking about our plans to support the program and start making big investments in our program. (big is a relative term based on your finances).

I wanted to write to get you up to speed regarding where we are with Phase III of the Martin Stadium project. After several months of careful consideration and discussions with a variety of people, I have recommended to the President and the Board of Regents that we consider the following:

  1. Go forward with the expansion of the stadium, but move the total plan to the south side. Not only would this be a more cost efficient approach, but also would enable us to address such concerns as access, inclement weather, parking and the overall aesthetic appeal of the facility. Suites, loge seating, club seats and a club room would still be a part of the plan. It would also allow us to construct a modern and efficient press box which was not included in the original concept.
  2. Build a football operations building in the west end zone that would house all aspects of the football program including locker room, weight room, equipment room, training room, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices, player’ lounge , and an entertainment area that would serve as the training table during the week and a VIP room on game days.

I trust you are aware that I am a strong advocate of facility enhancements and how they can improve our program in the area of student-athlete development and recruiting. I believe the only way we can become and stay competitive in the tough Pac-12 Conference is to invest in facilities in order to attract top talent. This project would be at the very core of that effort.

Please know that all you were assured of receiving in the original discussion would still be provided in the revise plan. I am hopeful that you will agree to participate as your willingness to stay involved is essential to our ability to proceed. Together we can ensure that not just football, but all of Cougar athletics is competitive and a source of pride for year to come


Bill Moos


Support your boys…

…and your girls.

Cougar Athletic Supporter

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