PAUL WULFF will not be back for a fifth season as head coach at Washington State, two well-placed sources tell and it was later confirmed by Athletic director Bill Moos, who met with Wulff on Sunday and Tuesday to talk about the state of the program. Moos will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today to make it official and talk about the next step.

Shortly after this story was published, WSU released a statement:

"Paul and I met at length Sunday, and then spoke again this morning, after which I determined the best path for Cougar football moving forward is to have a change of leadership," said Moos. "I appreciate all that Paul has done for Washington State football. He was hired with the objective of rebuilding this program and establishing a solid foundation. For that I thank him.

"We will begin the process of naming the next head coach immediately. I will not be discussing details of the hiring process, only that I expect to name a successful candidate as soon as possible."

Both sources asked not to be identified in this story. One of them said Moos considered the move long and hard, while WSU President Elson Floyd pushed strongly for replacing Wulff.

"If one voter is torn and one voter is unequivocal, it's a majority against the head coach," one source said.

Wulff walked into a multi-layered mess when he arrived at WSU from Eastern Washington in December 2007 and has been methodical in his rebuild, but the wins didn't come fast enough. He concludes his WSU tenure with a 9-40 overall mark and 4-32 record in Pac-12/10 games.

"Sometimes a rebuild takes two coaches to get through," a former Pac-10 athletic director told CF.C. "The first one does the dirty work and suffers through the growing pains, and then the second one, with all kinds of goodwill in the fan base, guides it to the final phase."

Speculation on Wulff and a possible replacement has been burning hot since the Cougars lost in overtime to Utah two weeks ago. Matters reached a fever pitch Saturday following a loss to rival Washington that finished the Cougars' season at 4-8.

Mike Leach, the former Texas Tech head coach, has been most prominently mentioned. Other names have been bandied about, including Boise State's Chris Petersen, who has known Moos for many years, Houston's Kevin Sumlin, a finalist for the WSU job when Wulff was selected, and Dave Christensen, the head coach at Wyoming.

Petersen would seem the longest of shots from that group and Sumlin looks to be one of the hottest commodities in the nation after leading Houston to a 12-0 record this season. Both of them easily could run into the $2 million-per-year range to hire.

Leach figures to as well. After being out of football for two years following a messy departure from Texas Tech, the scarlet letter on his chest appears to have been removed with a number of programs, including UCLA and Kansas, believed interested in getting him back in the game.

"Letting Paul go at this stage of the rebuild tells me one of two things," said one of the sources familiar with the situation. "Moos is going to make a big splash with the new hire, or else the psychological toll on Cougar fans of eight seasons without a winning record was so great that a change of any kind, even a ho-hum one, is worth it."

CF.C will be back with updates throughout the day.

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