WSU's severance and salary questions settled

BILL DOBA'S SEVERANCE from Washington State is about $1.1 million and the total cost for replacing the football coaching staff will be far less than original estimates, WSU senior associate athletic director Anne McCoy said Wednesday.

The Cougars owe five Doba assistants approximately $800,000 if they do not find new coaching jobs before their contracts end June 30, 2009. At least four of Doba's nine paid assistants have secured coaching jobs, including two with new Cougar head coach Paul Wulff.

That $800,000 owed the five assistants, coupled with Doba's $1.1 million, means the total cost of the buyout will be about $1 million less than the original highest-range estimate of $2.8 million. The number figures to continue dropping as remaining members of the staff land new positions.

Doba has agreed to accept monthly payments through Jan. 3, 2010, when his contract would have expired. His deferred compensation, which amounts to $120,000 and interest, is due as a lump payment by Feb. 2, 2010.

WSU athletic director Jim Sterk, who wrote a letter to Doba summarizing the contract settlement, concluded his letter by writing, "Bill, it has been a sincere pleasure working with you. On behalf of Washington State University, thank you for your many years of service. We wish you the very best!"

Wulff's five-year contract is expected to be finalized next week, McCoy said. Sterk said Wulff's annual compensation will be similar to that of Doba, who was basically assured of making about $600,000 (lowest in the Pac-10 Conference), with the potential to make considerably more if incentives were met.

Wulff's nine paid assistants will earn a collective $1.13 million annually. That tops the former school record of $979,300 set by Doba's 2007 staff. Still, the new total may rank lowest in the conference.

The cost of living in Pullman is considerably less than in most Pac-10 cities. And WSU has the smallest athletic budget in the Pac-10 at $25 million.

Chris Ball, the Cougars' new assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, makes $170,000. Ranking second at $150,000 is Todd Sturdy, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Jody Sears, co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach, earns $140,000.

Wide receivers coach Mike Levenseller continues to earn $132,870, although he will no longer serve as offensive coordinator as he did under Doba. Running backs coach Steve Broussard, the only other Doba assistant who was retained by Wulff, received a $10,000 raise to $110,000.

Other salaries of new assistants are: Harold Etheridge, offensive line, $115,000; Rich Rasmussen, tight ends-recruiting coordinator, $110,000; Travis Niekamp, linebackers, $100,000; and Malik Roberson, defensive line, $100,000.

The salaries of the assistants who were not retained: Leon Burtnett (now at Houston), safeties, $120,000; Greg Peterson (now at Colorado State), tight ends-recruiting coordinator, $103,000; George Yarno, offensive line, $115,000; Timm Rosenbach, quarterbacks, $105,008; Marty Long, co-defensive line, $105,000; Mike Walker, co-defensive line, $100,000; and Dave Walkowsky, cornerbacks, $100,000.

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