Bill Moos: Fundraising for IPF not yet close

YAKIMA — Fundraising for Washington State’s proposed new Indoor Practice Facility and baseball clubhouse is moving so slowly that nearly six months to the day after Bill Moos stated his hope to break ground on both projects within six- to 12-months, the athletic director didn't offer any kind of timeline on when they might get underway when asked Wednesday.

In Yakima for a Cougar Athletic Fund event at the Apple Tree Golf Course, Moos told CF.C that he and his staff are working to raise money for both projects but aren't close to where they need to be on the IPF.

He pointed to a recent fundraiser at Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard and Winery where he said several people made nice donations. And he’s also hoping for a big push during the upcoming Drew Bledsoe Cougar Legends golf event in Coeur d’Alene.

“I’m pleased with my staff and how they’re going about putting events together and getting prospects together with me,” Moos said.

The proposed IPF (pictured above) is expected to cost between $23 million and $26 million. The baseball clubhouse will run about $6.5 million, though roughly half the amount needed is accounted for via pledges that were secured by outgoing Cougar baseball coach Donnie Marbut.

Funding for the IPF and baseball clubhouse falls solely on the shoulders of Cougar fans, as bonded financing avenues have been exhausted by the Cougar Football Complex and the Martin Stadium remodel.

Moos said he is hoping the excitement of a new baseball coach -- former Oregon State and Oklahoma State assistant Marty Lees -- will encourage people to get clubhouse fundraising to the finish line.

Fundraising for Cougar athletics in general has been modest over recent years. The last major contributor was Greg Rankich, who pledged $3 million nearly four years ago — the type of donation many Power 5 schools receive on an annual basis from multiple people.

In addition, the Cougar Athletic Fund — which features an entry-level membership of just $50 — remains static at around 6,000 members. Moos said the challenge isn’t getting people to support the Cougs, but getting them to continue that support each year.

“The last two or three years we’ve gained 800 to 1,000 members, but we’ve been unable to retain that many,” Moos said.

The key is going to be finding a way to attract new members, while keeping the others. It’s a challenge he said he’s working to overcome.

NOTABLE:

  • Moos said new locker rooms and a new training room are slated for Beasley Coliseum. He’s hoping to have those upgrades completed in time for the upcoming basketball season.

  • Moos said Phase II of improvements to WSU’s soccer facilities will begin in February. The facility, which was spruced up last year with new turf and lighting, will be getting a permanent grandstand, concession stand, restrooms, ticketing area and press box.

  • With President Elson Floyd on leave to battle cancer, CF.C asked Moos if he expected any changes under interim president Dan Bernardo. Moos noted that Floyd, despite the leave, remains “our leader” and he doesn’t see support for athletics from the president’s office changing. “(Dr. Barnardo is) sitting in temporarily and our goals and objectives are the same,” Moos said. “We’re doing exactly what (Elson) wants to us to do. We’re staying the course.”

  • The new IPF -- slated for year-round use via the rotation of nearly every sport at WSU -- would use the foundation of the existing "bubble" IPF as a footprint and then expand east by several yards. The new facility would accommodate two 50-yard football fields, a side area for training, locker rooms, offices and a banked, hydraulic track. It also would be climate controlled in a state-of-the-art way so coaches can mimic the weather of their next destination. And, unlike the current IPF, it would be fully lit and feature joint-friendly Field Turf.

  • Cougfan Top Stories