Walden's 'great run' comes to an end

FROM THE HIGHS of the 10-win seasons to the more frustrating recent years, Jim Walden loved following his Cougars from the broadcast booth. "It was a great run," said Walden, who learned in a letter today from Bill Moos that he will not be returning to the Cougar broadcast team as the color analyst.

Walden spent the last 11 seasons as Bob Robertson's sidekick, but speculation has swirled since December that he would be replaced. Walden made it abundantly clear in a series of radio and print interviews at that time that he did not think the firing of Paul Wulff would be the right move for WSU.

Well-placed sources at WSU said Moos and President Elson Floyd were highly dismayed at the public onslaught from Walden given his role as a member of the broadcast team.

Among those who figure to be in line to replace Walden are former Cougar and Seahawk center Robbie Tobeck, who hosts his own radio show in Seattle; former Cougar and Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, who has done some outstanding TV color work over the years; and Paul Sorensen, former Cougar safety and Walden's predecessor as color man, and who has been doing EWU games on the radio the last several years.

"I've enjoyed it, it's been a great run and I wish all the new coaching staff lots and lots of success," said Walden. "I hope the people appreciated what I tried to do the last nine years. The last six years have been rough, but I hope the next six years for whoever is sitting in that chair are a lot better and that they win a lot more games than these last six years. The first three years were great, but the last six were a tough deal trying to help hold this thing together."

Walden said the letter from Moos was short and that he thanked Walden for being a loyal Cougar. Asked if he was surprised that Moos, who he has known since the 1970s, broke the news to him in a letter rather than a phone call, Walden said he had nothing but appreciation for Moos and Washington State.

In addition to his work on the radio, Walden has throughout the years been a significant donor to Washington State Athletics.

Walden also mentioned his appreciation for former WSU Athletics Director Jim Sterk and former WSU President V. Lane Rawlins for hiring him and for their support.

The move brings an end to a formal association that began in 1977 when Walden came to WSU as an assistant coach under Warren Powers. Walden became the head coach the following season, holding that post at Washington State from 1978-86. To this day, he says getting Apple Cups moved to Pullman from Spokane, in the years WSU is the host team, is one of his most gratifying accomplishments.

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