Washington State Cougars football

Washington State Cougars football
2018 Washington State Cougars football team
First season 1893 (1893)
Athletic director Patrick Chun
Head coach Mike Leach
8th season, 38–38 (.500)
Stadium Martin Stadium
(Capacity: 33,522)
Year built 1972
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Pullman, Washington
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Pac-12 (since 1962)
Division North (since 2011)
Past conferences Independent (1894–1916)
PCC (1917–1958)
Independent (1959–1961)
All-time record 50352745 (.489)
Bowl record 77 (.500)
Conference titles 4 (1917, 1930, 1997, 2002)
Rivalries Washington Huskies (rivalry)
Idaho Vandals (rivalry)
Current uniform
Colors Crimson and Gray[1]
         
Fight song Washington State University Fight Song
Mascot Butch T. Cougar
Marching band Cougar Marching Band
Outfitter Nike
Website WSUCougars.com

The Washington State Cougars football program is the intercollegiate American football team for Washington State University, located in the U.S. state of Washington. The team competes at the NCAA Division I level in the FBS and is a member of the North Division of the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12). Known as the Cougars, the first football team was fielded in 1894.

The Cougars play home games on campus at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington, which opened in 1972; the site dates back to 1892 when it was called Soldier Field. Its present seating capacity is 33,522.[2] Their main rivals are the Washington Huskies. The Cougars and Huskies historically end each regular season with the Apple Cup rivalry game in late November. They are currently coached by Mike Leach.

History

Early history (1894–1977)

Washington State's first head football coach was William Goodyear.[3] That team played only two games in its inaugural season in 1894, posting a 1–1 record.[3] The team's first win was over Idaho.[3] The first paid head football coach was William L. Allen, who served as head coach in 1900 and 1902,[3] posting an overall record of 6–3–1.[3] John R. Bender served as head football coach from 1906–1907 and 1912–1914, compiling a record of 21–12.[4] William Henry Dietz was the Cougars' head football coach from 1915–1917, posting a stellar 17–2–1 record.[5] Dietz's 1915 team defeated Brown in the Rose Bowl, and finished with a 7–0 record. Dietz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2012.[6] Albert Exendine served as Washington State's head football coach from 1923–1925, posting a 6–13–4 overall record.[7]

Babe Hollingbery was the Cougars' head football coach for 17 seasons, posting a 93–53–14 record.[8] His 93 wins are the most by any head football coach in Washington State football history.[9] Hollingbery's 1930 team played in the 1931 Rose Bowl, a game they lost to Alabama.[8] The Cougars didn't lose a single home game from 1926–1935.[9] Among the Cougar greats Hollingbery coached were Mel Hein, Turk Edwards and Mel Dressel.[9] The Hollingbery Fieldhouse that serves many of Washington State's athletics teams, was named in his honor in 1963.[9] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1979.[9] The Cougars did not field a football team from 1943 to 1944 because of World War II.[10] After the war ended, Phil Sarboe was hired away from Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington, to return to his alma mater as the head football coach.[10] Sarboe's Cougars posted a 17–26–3 record in his five seasons.[11]

Forest Evashevski took over the Cougars football program as the head coach in late 1949.[12] His 1951 team finished the season ranked #14 in the Coaches' Poll and #18 in the AP Poll.[13] He posted an 11–6–2 record in his two seasons[13] before leaving to take the Iowa head football coach position.[12] Evashevski was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2000.[12] Al Kircher, an assistant on Evashevski's staff, was promoted to head coach following Evashevski's departure.[14] Kircher didn't enjoy as much success as his predecessor, going 13–25–2 in his four seasons as head coach.[15] He was not retained after his contract expired.[14] Jim Sutherland was Washington State's 21st head football coach. He held the Cougars head coach position for eight seasons.[16] His overall record with the Cougars was 37–39–4.[16]

Bert Clark served as Washington State's head football coach for four seasons,[17] posting a record of 15–24–1.[17] His best season was 1965, when the Cougars went 7–3[17] and defeated three Big Ten teams on the road.[18] That season was Clark's only winning season, as he failed to win more than three games in his other seasons.[17] Clark was not retained after the end of his fourth season.[18] Jim Sweeney served as the Cougars head football coach for eight seasons.[19] His final record was 26–59–1.[19] Sweeney's best season was 1972, when the Cougars finished 7–4.[19] That was his only winning season.[19] Sweeney was let go after the 1975 season.[20] Jackie Sherrill was Washington State's head coach for one season.[21] His team posted a 3–8 record.[21] Sherrill departed after that one season to accept the head football coach position at Pittsburgh.[22] Warren Powers served as head coach for one season[23] before accepting the head football coach position at Missouri.[24]

Jim Walden era (1978–1986)

Jim Walden was promoted to head coach following the departure of Powers.[25] Walden led the Cougars to one bowl appearance, the 1981 Holiday Bowl, a game they lost to BYU.[25][26] That bowl appearance was Washington State's first in 51 years.[25] Walden won Pacific-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1981 and 1983.[25][26] Walden's final record at Washington State was 44–52–4.[25][26] Players coached by Walden at Washington State include Jack Thompson, Kerry Porter, Rueben Mayes, Ricy Turner, Ricky Reynolds, Paul Sorensen, Brian Forde, Lee Blakeney, Mark Rypien, Dan Lynch, Pat Beach, Keith Millard, Erik Howard, and Cedrick Brown.[25] Walden left after the 1986 season to accept the head football coach position at Iowa State.[25][27]

Dennis Erickson era (1987–1988)

When he was named Washington State's head football coach on January 7, 1987, Dennis Erickson said it was his lifelong dream to become the head football coach of the Cougars.[28] His contract he signed in 1987 was a five-year deal at an annual base salary of $70,000, with up to $30,000 from radio, television, and speaking obligations.[29]

Erickson's Cougars posted a 3–7–1 record in his first season but improved to a 9–3 record in 1988,[30] capped with a victory in the Aloha Bowl, the Cougars' first bowl victory since 1916.[30] Although stating publicly a week earlier that he would not leave Washington State,[31] Erickson accepted the head football coach position at Miami in March 1989,[32] leaving the Cougars after two seasons and a 12–10–1 overall record.[30]

Mike Price era (1989–2002)

Mike Price came to Washington State from Weber State.[33] Price led the Cougars to unprecedented success, taking his 1997 and 2002 teams to the Rose Bowl, both times losing.[33] The 1997 team was led by star quarterback Ryan Leaf, who would be the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.[34] Those teams finished ranked #9 and #10 in the Coaches' and AP Polls, respectively.[33][35] Price also led the Cougars to victories in the Copper Bowl, the Alamo Bowl and the Sun Bowl.[33][35] Price's record at Washington State is 83–78.[33][35] It was during the 2002 season that Washington State received its highest ranking ever in the modern era within the AP Polls at #3.[33] Price resigned following the 2002 season to accept the head football coach position at Alabama,[33] but was fired before ever coaching a game for the Crimson Tide due to an off-the-field incident.[36]

Bill Doba era (2003–2007)

Bill Doba was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach following Price's departure.[37] Things started out well for Doba's Cougars, as they went 10–3 in Doba's first year to finish ranked #9 in both the AP and Coaches' Polls.[38] But, things went downhill. The Cougars slipped to 5–6 in 2004, and posted a 4–7 record in 2005.[38] A 6–6 2006 season followed,[38] and after finishing the 2007 season 5–7,[38] Doba was fired. He finished with a 30–28 record.[39]

Paul Wulff era (2008–2011)

Paul Wulff was hired away from Eastern Washington to replace the fired Bill Doba.[40] Wulff struggled mightily as the Cougars head football coach, failing to win more than four games in a single season.[41] His final record at Washington State is 9–40,[41] the lowest winning percentage (.184) of any head coach in Washington State football history.[42] Wulff was fired after the 2011 season.[43]

Mike Leach era (2012–present)

In November 2011, it was announced that Mike Leach would replace Wulff as head coach.[44] Leach had previously spent 10 seasons as head coach at Texas Tech Red Raiders football.[45] In 2012, Mike Leach's first season, the new coaching staff installed an Air raid offense; an exciting, up-tempo, pass-oriented offensive attack which led the Pac-12 Conference in passing offense.[46] In his second season, Leach led Washington State to the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the first bowl game for the Cougars in a decade.[46] Leach received a 2-year contract extension on November 18, 2013 after leading the Washington State Cougars to their best record since 2006.[47]

In 2015, Mike Leach guided the Washington State Cougars to their first bowl victory since the 2003 season.[48] In that same year, the team also posted a 9–4 winning season and was ranked in the AP Poll, Coach's Poll, and College Football Playoff ranking. Mike Leach was named the Pac-12's co-Coach of the Year[49] as well as the Associated Press Pac-12 Coach of the Year.[50] After the season, Washington State again extended coach Mike Leach's contract, this time through the 2020 season.[51]

In 2016, sandwiched between a two game losing streak to begin and three game losing streak to end the season, the Cougars rode an eight game winning streak to a place in the Holiday Bowl where they lost to Minnesota by a score of 17-12.[52] They finished with a 7-2 Pac-12 record and overall record of 8-5 for 2016.[53] Huge wins over Oregon and #15 Stanford contributed to the Cougars best finish in Pac-12 conference play since the 2003 team went 6-2.

Conference affiliations

Washington State has been a member of the following conferences.[54]

Head coaches

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1894William Goodyear11–1.500
1895Fred Waite12–01.000
1896David A. Brodie12–0–11.000
1897Robert Gailey12–01.000
1898–99Frank Shively21–1–1.500
1900, 1902William L. Allen26–3–1.650
1901William Namack14–1.800
1903James N. Ashmore13–3–2.500
1904–1905Everett Sweeley26–6.500
1906–1907, 1912–1914John R. Bender521–12.636
1908Walter Rheinschild14–0–2.833
1909Willis Kienholz14–1.800
1910–1911Oscar Osthoff25–6.454
1915–1917William Henry Dietz317–2–1.875
1918Emory Alvord11–1.500
1919–1922Gus Welch416–10–1.611
1923–1925Albert Exendine36–13–4.348
1926–1942Babe Hollingbery1593–53–14.625
1943–1944World War II – no teams
1945–1949Phil Sarboe517–26–3.402
1950–1951Forest Evashevski211–6–2.632
1952–1955Al Kircher413–25–2.350
1956–1963Jim Sutherland837–39–4.488
1964–1967Bert Clark415–24–1.388
1968–1975Jim Sweeney826–59–1.308
1976Jackie Sherrill13–8.273
1977Warren Powers16–5.545
1978–1986Jim Walden944–52–4.460
1987–1988Dennis Erickson212–10–1.543
1989–2002Mike Price1483–78.516
2003–2007Bill Doba530–29.508
2008–2011Paul Wulff49–40.184
2012–presentMike Leach638–38.500
Totals 33 coaches 117 seasons 511–528–45 .492[55]

Bowl games

Washington State has made 14 bowl appearances, and has a bowl record of 7–7. The Cougars have played in the Rose Bowl four times (1 win, 3 losses), the Holiday Bowl three times (1 win, 2 losses), the Sun Bowl twice (2 wins), one Aloha Bowl (1 win), one Copper Bowl (1 win), one Alamo Bowl (1 win), and one New Mexico Bowl (1 loss).[56]

Year Coach Bowl Opponent Result
1915William Henry DietzRose BowlBrownW 14–0
1930Babe HollingberyRose BowlAlabamaL 24–0
1980Jim WaldenHoliday BowlBYUL 38–36
1988Dennis EricksonAloha BowlHoustonW 24–22
1992Mike PriceCopper BowlUtahW 31–28
1994Mike PriceAlamo BowlBaylorW 10–3
1997Mike PriceRose BowlMichiganL 21–16
2001Mike PriceSun BowlPurdueW 33–27
2002Mike PriceRose BowlOklahomaL 34–14
2003Bill DobaHoliday BowlTexasW 28–20
2013Mike LeachNew Mexico BowlColorado StateL 48–45
2015Mike LeachSun BowlMiamiW 20-14
2016Mike LeachHoliday BowlMinnesotaL 17–12
2017Mike LeachHoliday BowlMichigan StateL 17–42

Championships

Conference Championships

Dating back to their days in the Pacific Coast Conference, Washington State won four conference titles through the 2017 season.[57]

Season Conference Coach Conference Record Overall Record
1917Pacific Coast ConferenceWilliam Henry Dietz3–06–0–1
1930Pacific Coast ConferenceO.E. Hollingbery6–19–1
1997Pacific-10 ConferenceMike Price7–110–2
2002Pacific-10 ConferenceMike Price7–110–3

† Co-championship

Individual accomplishments

Heisman Trophy voting

Seven players have finished in the Top 10 of the Heisman Trophy voting.[58] Ryan Leaf had the highest finish in the Heisman balloting in program history.[59]

Year Name Position Points Place
1978Jack ThompsonQB729th
1984Reuben MayesRB3210th
1988Timm RosenbachQB447th
1992Drew BledsoeQB488th
1997Ryan LeafQB8613rd
2002Jason GesserQB747th
2005Jerome HarrisonRB209th

First Team All-America

Since 1894, the Washington State Cougars football program has had 33 players honored a total of 36 times as First Team All-America.[60] Included in these selections are six consensus selections.[61]

Year Player POS Seasons at Washington State
1984Reuben MayesRB1982–1985
1988Mike UtleyG1985–1988
1989†Jason HansonK1988–1991
2002Rien LongDT2000–2002
2005Jerome HarrisonRB2004–2005
2013 Deone Bucannon[62] S 2010-2013
2016†Cody O'ConnellOT2013-2017

Note: † Denotes unanimous selection in addition to consensus selection.

College Football Hall of Fame

Four players and two coaches from the Washington State Cougars football program have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[63][64][65]

Inducted Player POS Seasons at Washington State Ref.
1954 Mel Hein C 1929–1931 [63]
1975 Turk Edwards T 1929–1931 [63]
1979 O.E. Hollingbery Coach 1926–1942 [63]
2008 Reuben Mayes RB 1982–1985 [63]
2012 William Dietz Coach 1915-1917 [64]
2016 Mike Utley G 1985–1988 [65]

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Two former Washington State football players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Year Inducted Player POS Seasons at Washington State NFL Team(s) Years with NFL Team(s)
1963Mel HeinC1927–1931New York Giants1931–1945
1969Turk EdwardsT1929–1931Washington Redskins1932–1940
Reference:[66]

Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Four former Washington State football players have been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Year Inducted Player POS Seasons at Washington State CFL Team(s) Years with CFL Team(s) Ref.
1975Byron BaileyRB1949–1951B.C. Lions1954–1964[67]
1979George ReedRB1959–1962Saskatchewan Roughriders1963–1975[67]
1991Brian KellyWR, Coach1975–1977Edmonton Eskimos1979–1987[67]
2000Hugh CampbellWR, Coach, Executive1959–1962Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders1964–2006[68]

Retired numbers

The Cougars have retired two numbers.[69]

No. Player Position Career
7Mel HeinC1927–1931
14Jack ThompsonQB1974–1978

Pac-12 Coach of the Year

Five Washington State football head coaches have received the annual award a total of seven times as the conference's Coach of the Year.[70]

Year Coach Record
1981Jim Walden8–3–1
1983Jim Walden7–4
1988Dennis Erickson9–3
1997Mike Price10–2
2001Mike Price10–2
2003Bill Doba10–3
2015Mike Leach9–4

Note: † Denotes a shared honor.

Current coaching staff

Name Position Season at
Washington State
Mike LeachHead Coach, Offensive Coordinator6th
Tracy ClaeysDefensive Coordinator1st
Ken WilsonLinebackers5th
Kendrick ShaverSafeties1st
Steve Spurrier Jr.Outside Receivers1st
Dave NicholInside Receivers2nd
Mason MillerOffensive Line1st
Jeff PhelpsDefensive Line2nd
Matt BrockOutside Linebackers1st
Eric MeleRunning backs3rd
Dave EmerickChief of Staff6th
Antonio HuffmanDirector of Football Operations6th
Tyson BrownStrength and Conditioning1st
Price FergusonOffensive Quality Control3rd
Darcel McBathDefensive backs2nd
Reference: wsucougars.com[71]

Notable players

Rivalry games

Washington Huskies

Idaho Vandals

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of June 6, 2017.[72]

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
vs Montana State at Wyoming vs Northern Colorado at Utah State vs Utah State at Wisconsin vs Wisconsin
vs Boise State vs San Jose State at Houston vs Houston vs Portland State vs Colorado State at Colorado State
vs Nevada vs Eastern Washington vs New Mexico State vs Idaho vs BYU

Notes

    References

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    2. Stalwick, Howie (August 14, 2012). "Stadium a Little Bigger, Way Better for Cougars". The News Tribune. Tacoma. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
    3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Washington State Football History Database". nationalchamps.net. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
    4. "John Bender". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
    5. "William Dietz". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
    6. "William 'Lone Star' Dietz Posthumously Inducted Into Football Hall of Fame". Indian Country Today Media Network.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
    7. "Albert Exendine". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
    8. 1 2 "O.E. Hollingbery". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
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    44. http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/7299814/mike-leach-agrees-coach-washington-state-cougars
    45. https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/wsu-cougars/cougars-hire-mike-leach-as-football-coach/
    46. 1 2 "Mike Leach Biography".
    47. "Mike Leach receives 2 year extension". Retrieved November 18, 2013.
    48. "WSU extends Mike Leach's contract after 9–4 season, Sun Bowl win". Retrieved January 8, 2016.
    49. "WSU Cougars' Mike Leach is co-Pac-12 Coach of the Year; Luke Falk, Gabe Marks, Joe Dahl named to All-Pac-12 first team". Retrieved January 8, 2016.
    50. "WSU's Mike Leach named Associated Press Pac-12 coach of the year". Retrieved January 8, 2016.
    51. "Cougars Extend Mike Leach Through 2020 Season". Retrieved January 8, 2016.
    52. http://www.espn.com/college-football/recap?gameId=400876095
    53. https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/washington-state/2016-schedule.html
    54. "2016 Football Media Guide" (PDF). Washington State Cougars Athletics. pp. 74–78. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
    55. "2012 NCAA Football Records – FBS Individual Records" (PDF). ncaa.org. 2012. p. 65. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
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    57. "Pac-12 Conference - 2016 Football Media Guide". Catalog.e-digitaleditions.com. 2016. pp. 91–92. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
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    59. "1997 Heisman Trophy Voting". Retrieved 7 December 2015.
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    61. Consensus All-America. "Sports Reference College Football". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
    62. "WSU safety Deone Bucannon is voted to AP All-America first team". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
    63. 1 2 3 4 5 "Entering the Hall: William 'Lone Star' Dietz". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
    64. 1 2 College Football Hall of Fame. "Inductee Search Results by College". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
    65. 1 2 "WSU Cougars OL Mike Utley named to College Football Hall of Fame". 8 January 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
    66. Pro Football Hall of Fame. "Inductees by College". PFHOF. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
    67. 1 2 3 Canadian Football Hall of Fame. "Hall of Fame College Affiliations". CFHOL. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
    68. http://www.cfhof.ca/members/hugh-campbell/
    69. Cougar History and Awards. "WSU Cougar Lettermen" (PDF). WSU Athletics. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
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    72. "Washington State Cougars Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
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