Seen & Heard on Planet Coug

Seen & Heard on Planet Coug

PULLMAN -- WSU has already received more than $1.8 million in deposits and/or commitments for the premium seats that are under construction at Martin Stadium for the upcoming football season.

All 21 suites and 42 loges have been claimed, including the four largest suites (which hold 24) for $50,000 each. Approximately 700 of the 1,100 least expensive premium seats, the club seats, are still available at $1,700 or $2,000 each.

Football season ticket sales increased substantially after Mike Leach's hiring.

Increased television money helped Washington State reel in Leach with the biggest contract in school history, and increased football income helped the Cougars pay off former football coach Paul Wulff.

The Cougars paid Wulff $809,533, including his base salary of $600,000 plus deferred compensation, for firing him with one year left on his five-year contract.

Stewart Mandel of SI.com ranks Leach as the best head coaching hire of the off-season. Leach's hiring was the only one to earn an A-plus grade from Mandel. Ohio State's Urban Meyer came in second with an A.

OTHER NOTABLE COUGAR NUGGETS ...
  • New Cougar linebackers coach Jeff Choate, who spent the last six seasons as special teams coach at Boise State, told the Idaho Statesman the other day that he jumped from a powerhouse program to a rebuilding one (moving laterally on the pay scale, to boot), in order to get his foot in the door coaching defense. Special teams coaches get pigeon-holed, the 41-year-old St. Maries, Idaho, native said, and coaching linebackers at WSU will help build the résumé he needs to become a defensive coordinator or head coach one day.

  • A new, all-crimson Washington State Cougars license plate becomes available Jan. 23 in Washington. Part of the proceeds go to WSU scholarships. WSU officials say more Cougars license plates are in circulation than the plates of all other Washington universities combined. For more information, go to http://alumni.wsu.edu/olc/pub/WHG/aprograms/page_aprograms_3.jsp

  • Kade Burns, the head coach of Mason High School in Texas, told the San Angelo Standard-Times the other day that he received phone calls and text messages from an array of notables after winning the state's Class 1A title. Chief among them? Former President George H.W. Bush and Washington State coach Mike Leach.

  • Longtime WSU football radio broadcaster Bob Robertson will receive the Keith Jackson Award for broadcasting at the 77th annual Seattle Sports Star banquet next Wednesday in Seattle. Robertson, 82, also broadcast WSU basketball for years. The University Place resident still broadcasts Pacific Lutheran basketball and does part-time work on Tacoma Rainiers and Spokane Indians minor league baseball broadcasts.

  • Former WSU linebacker Johnny Nansen has come through the maelstrom of departures and firings on Steve Sarkisians's Washington's football staff rather nicely. In addition to maintaining his roles as special teams coach and recruiting coordinator, he's now adding the title assistant head coach. Nansen was a standout defender for the Cougs in the mid-1990s.

  • Former WSU track star Jeshua Anderson, a nominee for Seattle Sports Star Amateur Male Athlete of the Year, said he will skip New York's famed Millrose Games indoor meet next month to continue training in Pullman for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Anderson won his third NCAA intermediate hurdles title as a senior last year, then turned pro and won the USA Track and Field championship. Anderson said he still hopes to combine track and pro football. Anderson played wide receiver at WSU in 2007-08 and part of the 2009 season before deciding to focus on track full-time.

  • Jason Belford, a graduate assistant coach at WSU the past two seasons, has been named defensive line coach at Weber State. Belford was a former Lincoln High and Eastern Washington defensive standout. Former WSU player and assistant coach Jody Sears is expected to be named Weber's defensive coordinator. Weber's new head coach is former WSU assistant John L. Smith.

  • WSU junior point guard Reggie Moore continues to lead the Pac-12 in assists per game with 5.5. He's tied for 33rd in NCAA Division I. Moore's mark ranks third in WSU history. Donminic Ellison set the school record of 6.9 assists per game in 1997-98, and Ellison averaged 5.6 in 1995-96. Moore is on pace to break Bennie Seltzer's school record of 473 career assists next season. Moore currently ranks ninth with 320.

  • Senior guard Marcus Capers is set to break the WSU career record of 127 games played. Capers has played in 115 games, and the Cougars have at least 14 left to play. George Hamilton set the record in the 1940s.

  • The Washington State women's basketball team, which lost to Washington for the 33rd straight time last Saturday, try to halt another long losing streak when they face fourth-ranked Stanford on Thursday night. The Cougars are 0-52 all-time against the Cardinal. That's the longest head-to-head losing streak in NCAA Division I women's basketball history.

  • Former WSU baseball player Jesse Hoorebeke, who broke the all-time independent minor leagues home run record last year, has not decided whether he will return for an 11th season in the minor leagues. Hoorelbeke, 34, has hit 149 homers in six seasons in independent leagues (teams do not have major league affiliates). Last year, he hit .295 with 15 homers and 75 RBIs in 94 games as a first baseman-designated hitter for Fargo (N.D.)-Moorhead (Minn.) in the American Association.
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