WSU planning big lead up to spring game

WASHINGTON STATE is planning another "Spokane Week" of events in the lead up to the Cougars' Crimson & Gray football game at Albi Stadium on April 21, but this second annual version of the week-long extravaganza includes a unique guest. Bill Doba is coming back to Cougarville.

On April 16, the former Cougar head coach (2003-07), defensive coordinator (1994-2002) and defensive line coach (1989-93) will be joining with Matt Kegel, Will Derting and possibly Erik Coleman for a "Great Games in Cougar History" gathering at Northern Quest Casino's Q Sports Bar. They'll be breaking down film, sharing stories and answering questions from the crimson faithful about their unforgettable upset of No. 5-ranked Texas and Vince Young in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.

Bud Nameck will be the host. The festivities will run from 6-9 p.m. and all Cougar fans are invited. Space is limited, so to reserve a spot head HERE.

The event will mark Doba's first return to the Cougar Nation since departing as head coach following the 2007 season and then moving to southwest Michigan, just north of South Bend, Indiana.

"Coach Doba is truly touched and excited to be coming back," said Justin Felker, regional director of the Cougar Athletic Fund.

The Holiday Bowl salute is one of many events and gatherings WSU Athletics has planned for Spokane that week. The aim is two-fold: to rally Cougar fans and to cultivate potential new ones. Among the offerings that will precede and follow the Doba get together are:

April 16
  • The Spokane Cougar Club Coaches luncheon at the Red Lion near Riverfront Park featuring Bill Moos and either Mike Leach or one of his assistant coaches. It will start at 11:30.

    April 17
  • A tailgater at Avista Corp., the second-largest employer in Spokane County.
  • Cougar baseball at Gonzaga, with plans in the works to get Coug fans out in force with complimentary tickets. First pitch is at 6 p.m. To secure your free tickets, click HERE.

    April 18
  • Bill Moos, Butch and the Cougar Spirit Squad will be speaking at the downtown Boys & Girls Club and handing out Cougar trinkets.
  • A "Cougar Salute to our Armed Forces" barbeque for the men and women in the military at Fairchild Air Force Base from 4 to 6 p.m.

    April 19
  • Bill Moos will be speaking to the Spokane Society of Young Professionals at a "Beers with Cougar Athletics" gathering.
  • Cougars Night Out in downtown, where food and drink specials will be running for WSU-attired fans at establishments all over downtown. Many former WSU football stars will be on hand. A list of participating pubs and restaurants will soon be posted HERE.

    April 20
  • "Cougs at Quest." Cougar football greats of yesteryear will be at Northern Quest Casino, starting at 7 p.m., to talk, play cards, you name it.
  • At 6 p.m. the parking lot at Albi Stadium will open for RVs to park overnight in a designated area.

    GAME DAY, April 21
    Cougar players and coaches will visit the Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart Medical Center in the morning, and then head to Albi Stadium for autograph-signing starting at 11 a.m. Posters will be handed out.

    Two beer gardens will open at 10 a.m. and so will concessions.

    The parking lot at Albi Stadium will open that morning at 8 for tailgating. The Crimson & Gray Game will start at 1 p.m.

    "We're expecting 10,000 to 15,000 fans," said Felker. "I think Cougar fans are poised to kick off the Mike Leach Era in a memorable way."

    FOR MORE INFORMATION on Spokane Week, click to WSU SPOKANE WEEK.

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