Moos addresses variety of crimson topics

WASHINGTON STATE took its time filling out the defensive coaching staff in football, but athletic director Bill Moos said he’s confident the Cougars found the right men in defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Alex Grinch and outside linebackers coach Roy Manning.

“We talked to some impressive people over the course of the last few months,” Moos said Monday morning on his weekly radio show in Spokane. “After everything had settled; for the right fit, for the longevity; we need to have stability (among coaches) on both sides of the ball. We do on offense; we need that on defense.”

Moos described Grinch (pictured above left) and Manning (right) as “aggressive, passionate about the game, excellent recruiters. I’m really feeling good about these two hires.”

MOOS AND Cougar Athletic Foundation executive Uri Farkus reminded football fans that Mike Leach and his staff will be on board for the annual four-city tour to celebrate WSU’s latest recruiting class.

Farkus said WSU alums Cindy Brunson and Jaymee Sire will serve as emcees. Sire is a current “SportsCenter” anchor on ESPN television; Brunson formerly held that job before moving to the Phoenix area. She is now a broadcaster on the Pac-12 Networks and Fox Sports Arizona.

Brunson will be on hand the evening of the primary national letter of intent signing day Feb. 4 at Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights (just west of Spokane). Brunson also works Feb. 6 in Pasco and Feb. 8 the Portland suburb of Beaverton, Ore., before Sire takes over Feb. 27 in Seattle.

Farkus noted that people who purchase a table for eight will be joined by a football staff member. Farkus said auction items include “the most unique setting yet” for a football game at Martin Stadium.

“I’ll leave it at that,” Farkus said.

For information on “A Night With Cougar Football” recruiting dinner/socials, contact the CAF’s Bridget Slaybaugh at (509) 335-9790 or bslaybaugh@wsu.edu. The events help raise money for the CAF.

Moos has long expressed a desire for the CAF to eventually cover the cost of all athletic scholarships. That cost went up significantly Saturday when the NCAA approved cost-of-living stipends for scholarship athletes in the five “power conferences” (including the Pac-12).

MOOS EXPRESSED delight with the much-improved enthusiasm of crowds at the two men’s basketball games at Beasley Coliseum last week.

“The students did a great job,” said Moos, who was pleased with the number of Spokane-area fans on hand Saturday.

The Cougars drew their two biggest crowds of the season for a thrilling overtime win over Oregon (3,584) and a disappointing loss to Oregon State (5,116).

Farkus said the Cougars want to provide more “insider” access for CAF members. A pregame function with assistant coach Greg Graham was held Saturday at Beasley, and all fans were invited to join Kent afterwards at the Hilltop restaurant.

The WSU men (9-8, 3-2 Pac-12), picked to finish 11th in the Pac-12 in the preseason media poll, are in a three-way tie for third at 3-2, one game behind co-leaders Arizona, Utah and Stanford. The Cougars visit No. 12 Utah (14-3, 4-1) on Wednesday and Colorado (9-6, 2-3) on Saturday.

The WSU women (11-6, 2-4 Pac-12), picked for eighth in the preseason coaches poll, can even their conference record at 4-4 by winning home games Friday against Colorado (9-8, 2-4) and Sunday against Utah (6-11, 0-6). The Cougars are currently tied for eighth with Colorado, but three of WSU’s four conference losses came against Top 25 teams.

“We can compete with anybody in the conference,” Moos said.

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