Bill Moos: Cougs are better than last year

SPOKANE - Bill Moos admitted it. He was primed for a Washington State win in the Apple Cup with fundraising efforts to follow. With the football coaches out recruiting, Moos addressed a number of topics at the Spokane Cougar Club luncheon, including the dismissals of assistant coaches Mike Breske and Paul Valero, and his firm belief that the Cougs are better than they were a year ago.

Bill Moos said the discussion on Mike Breske and Paul Volero’s futures at WSU had been going on a while.

“It’s tough,” Moos said. “Mike Leach and I have been talking about this now for, oh, probably the last three or four games. These are two wonderful coaches and very good men. But we’re on a mission.”

WSU was 3-9 this season after a 6-6 regular season mark in 2013, but Moos said records can be deceiving.

"We’re much, much better than we were a year ago,” Moos said, looking over at Jason Gesser, the color man on WSU’s radio broadcasts. “You can ask Jason about that. We’re much better. We got some key wins last year, including that big win over USC in the L.A. Coliseum, that kept spring boarding us. Then in 2013 we went into a slump, but we went into Arizona and beat them (and then beat Utah to) get our sixth win.”

Moos said the Apple Cup weekend was still a success on the recruiting front. (CF.C has reported eight known visitors were in town, two of whom are verbally committed and one a soft verbal. Another unofficial visitor, Fotu Leiato, was offered just today).

“The future is in our recruiting, and our incoming class will rival last year’s and will probably be better than last year’s…It’s a solid base of athletes to run this offense and man our defense,” said Moos.

Moos said the decision to replace Breske and Volero was fully Leach’s, but one he supported.

“I always put those things in my coach’s hands because they are the ones that are responsible. It was his call and we decided to make some changes on the defensive side.”

Moos said earlier on his radio show he expected the d-coordinator position would be filled sooner rather than later.

“But not at the expense of finding the right fit,” he said. “You want to have great chemistry on your staff and I think we lost some of that.”

Moos also has said Leach had a short list of six names as of Sunday night.

“You’ve heard me say that I always keep a short list on coaching positions and I know a lot of my coaches do, too. Not because you think you’re going to have to fire someone but because they could get hired and go to the NFL or NBA or something like that. You want to know who would be a good fit and have an idea who you want to talk to if something happens. In this case, he will make sure before he makes this hire that it will be the right fit,” said Moos.

Moos circled back to “the mission” a little later.

“We were No. 1 in the nation in passing and No. 7 in the nation in total offense,” Moos said. “People still tell me we need to run the football more, but when you’re No. 7 in the nation in total offense you should be winning more football games. Alabama gave up 700 yards to Auburn (628) and they’re supposed to be the defensive gurus in college football. I wonder if they fired their defensive coordinator?”

Moos had his staff ready to go on a major fundraising push after the Apple Cup to build the indoor practice facility (for football and virtually every other sport.)

“We were all set to start hitting up the alumni on the heels of a Apple Cup win,” Moos grinned. “Nothing makes the faithful feel better, even after a tough season, than a win over the Huskies.”

But Moos said he won’t send out the fundraising troops just yet.

“We kind of have to let the dust settle,” Moos said.

He encouraged WSU alumni to support the Pac-12 in the football postseason.

“I hope Oregon and Arizona get into the playoff,” he said. “I hope Marcus Mariota wins the Heisman. That all helps us improve the standing of the Pac-12.”

Moos said Washington State stands to earn $5 million this season as its share of the Pac-12 television deal.

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