PULLMAN - Paul Wulff, minutes removed from his 32nd loss in three years as coach of the Washington State Cougars, said he is uncertain if he will be brought back for a fourth season.
“I feel very comfortable (with his efforts at WSU), but it’s not my decision,” Wulff said at his postgame press conference.
Wulff , who has two years left on a contract that pays him $600,000 a year, said he has not been told by athletic director Bill Moos when the decision will be made.
“We’re getting a lot better,” Wulff said. “People inside this building understand that. We all know where we started and where it’s at.”
Said junior offensive guard B.J. Guerra: “I love what he’s doing. Everyone’s buying in. We support him 100 percent.”
Asked if he expects to return next season, assistant head coach Chris Ball smiled and said, “You never know in my profession.” Ball has been WSU’s assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach the past three seasons.
The Cougars have lost more games the past three years than any other team in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Washington State has finished last in the Pacific-10 Conference the past two years, and WSU’s 25 conference losses (in 27 games) are the most in Pac-10 history for a three-year span.
After going 5-7 in Bill Doba’s final year in 2007, the Cougars finished 2-11 (1-8 Pac-10) in 2008, 1-11 (0-9) in 2009 and 2-10 (1-8) this year.
WSU finished last in the Pac-10 the past two seasons, but Wulff said, “I don’t know if I’ve been around a team that improved as much as this team.” The Cougars started five freshmen much of the season.
Attendance has dropped since Wulff returned to his alma mater after a highly successful run as coach at Eastern Washington. The Cougars drew a season-high 30,157 fans Saturday in freezing temperatures.
“I’d like to thank our fans,” Wulff said. “I thought that was a first-rate effort on their part. They’ve been great all year.”
Senior wide receiver Daniel Blackledge posted career highs of seven catches and 132 receiving yards Saturday.
“Daniel Blackledge made some great catches today ... I’m extremely proud of him,” Wulff said.
Blackledge pointed to the sky after his 14-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.
“That was to my mother,” Blackledge said. “She passed at the end of my sophomore year, and I was definitely dedicating it to her.
“I had to get her one because she’s out there with me.”
Blackledge finished the season with career highs of 30 catches for 456 yards and three touchdowns.