PULLMAN - The hiring of Bill Moos as athletic director at Washington State on Tuesday was welcomed with open arms by one of the most legendary Cougars.
“I’m really excited about this. This is wonderful,” former WSU baseball coach Bobo Brayton said by phone from his ranch outside Pullman.
“We’ve got Bill now. We’ve got new energy, new leadership. A lot of people are going to jump in the ship with him because they like Bill.”
Moos, 59, was an all-Pacific-8 offensive lineman at Washington State in 1972. He later served as an assistant and associate athletic director at WSU before stints as AD at Montana and Oregon.
Contract terms were not known. Moos declined comment until today’s press conference in Pullman.
A source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said attorneys for Moos and Oregon have yet to finalize a settlement on the reported $1.4 million left in a $2 million buyout clause. Moos was paid approximately $600,000 a year at Oregon, double what Jim Sterk made as WSU‘s athletic director.
Sterk accepted the AD job at San Diego State on Feb. 12. Sterk had been offered a contract extension from school president Elson Floyd, but when Sterk left for San Diego State, he recommended Moos as his replacement.
Floyd said he was “inundated” by Moos supporters after Sterk resigned. Floyd approved a public forum at WSU on Feb. 17 in which Moos was treated like a conquering hero returning home.
“He’s got tremendous charisma,” ex-WSU sports information director Rod Commons told Cougfan.com. “He’s a hire that could go out and immediately connect with the Cougar Nation.”
Moos, who resigned at Oregon in late 2006 after a power struggle with wealthy Ducks booster Phil Knight, grew up a Cougars fan on a wheat and cattle ranch in the Eastern Washington town of Edwall, Lincoln County, near Spokane and his parents are WSU graduates.
His family moved to Olympia when his father served in the governor’s cabinet. Moos was a football star at Olympia High, graduating in 1968.
Most college athletic departments lose money, but the Cougars turned a profit in Sterk’s first eight years on the job before losing $200,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30.
WSU has the smallest athletic budget and football stadium, fewest athletic donors and least donated athletic funds in the Pacific-10 Conference.
The Cougars have been unable to raise enough money to finance a planned expansion of Martin Stadium with premium seating for football. WSU Athletic Foundation donations, which cover most scholarships, dropped $1.5 million in the past fiscal year from a record $8.26 million the previous year.
Oregon’s athletic budget, fund-raising and facilities all improved during Moos’ 12-year run as AD.
“We need somebody in here who is a Coug with experience raising money,” Brayton said.
“It would be pretty hard for me to find anything that would be negative about hiring Bill,” Commons said.