ADD COWBOY BOOTS to the list of non-football topics that Mike Leach has a strong opinion about. When Cougfan.com’s newest correspondent, Adam Lewis, asked offensive line coach Clay McGuire on Thursday if the Cougar staff had veered into any off-beat conversations of late, McGuire didn’t hesitate.
“We got into an argument the other day about who has been to more rodeos and who is more of a cowboy on staff because (Leach) wears square-toed boots and I wear round-toed boots, and we’ll just leave it at that.”
Mind you, McGuire grew up in tiny Crane, Texas, so it stands to reason he might know something about boots.
Not so, says Leach, who spent his formative years in Cody, Wyoming.
When our man Adam later raised the square-toe vs. round-toe question to Leach, he was at his entertaining best in response.
“He (McGuire) doesn’t know anything about cowboys,” said Leach, who dubbed Eric Morris, Eric Russell and Jeff Choate as the most authentic cowboys on his staff.
“Now Coach McGuire, in his Howdy Doody sort of way, thinks real cowboys wear these pointy, pointy looking shoes, you know, so me and others tried to educate him on that. He thinks since he comes from a town that’s a dry patch with one stoplight he’s got some expertise on it, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.”
Our full conversation with Coach McGuire will be published Monday. It’s a wide-ranging conversation that touches on everything from Sir Francis Drake to Cougar offensive lineman Elliott Bosch.
SATURDAY'S CRIMSON AND GRAY GAME will be streamed at SWXRightNow.com. It will also be
televised in the Spokane area on cable channel SWX, and KXLY Radio will be covering the first hour of the game.
IAN FURNESS AND Jason Puckett of sports radio 950 KJR in Seattle were broadcasting from Spokane today as part of the Crimson & Gray Game weekend and then ran into one of the great trivia questions in Apple Cup history: Rob Rainville, the starting left tackle on the Cougars’ legendary 1997 team. Rob scored the touchdown that put the Cougars up 24-7 in the ’97 Apple Cup. The Cougs would go on to win the game 41-35 and clinch the Pac-10 title.
Rainville, whose TD came courtesy of a fumble recovery in the end zone, explained to Furness and Puckett that “I had no business getting that ball,” because the running back who lost the handle, Michael Black, had carried to the opposite side of the line. Rainville said he just dove into the pile up for the ball and tried to snake his hands into the middle of the scrum. Before he knew it, he was in the fetal position on the ground “with my feet around the ball.”
The ref announced that No. 79 had possession, and suddenly the big man from Clarkston was in the box score of the most important win in school history: one carry, zero yards, one TD.
WSU HAS LINED UP A star-studded cast for the Cougar Legends dinner and golf gatherings in Coeur d'Alene on June 8-9. Mike Price and Dennis Erickson will be on hand, along with the likes of Drew Bledsoe, Marcus Trufant, Erik Coleman, Aaron Sele, Mark Rypien, Jason Gesser, Jack Thompson, Rueben Mayes and others. A handful of foursomes are still available for the golf tournament on Saturday and seats remain for the dinner and auction on Friday. To reserve a spot, contact Justin Felker at 509-432-9041.
BILL MOOS GREW UP in Edwall, just west of Spokane, but he went to high school in Olympia after his dad took a job with the governor. Bill was only there four years before moving to Pullman to play for the Cougs, but he left an impression. And this weekend he’ll be inducted into the Olympia High School sports hall of fame. He was a three-year starter at OHS in football and basketball, and led the hoops team in scoring and rebounding as a junior. Another old Cougs is also being inducted at OHS this weekend. Chick Rockey, who played basketball and baseball at WSU more than 90 years ago, was a long-time teacher, coach and athletic director at the school.
This is hall of fame season. Legendary Cougar baseball coach Bobo Brayton was recently elected to the state of Washington Sports Hall of Fame. He’ll be formally honored next Friday, April 27, before the Arizona State-Washington State baseball game at Bailey-Brayton Stadium.
TWO ASSISTANT COACHES under Paul Wulff, OL coach Steve Morton and special teams/running backs coach Dave Ungerer, continue to hold down jobs at WSU. Morton is the coordinator of the Gray W Varsity Club and Ungerer is the Coordinator of Ticket Sales.
Former tight ends coach Rich Rasmussen landed at Boise State this week. Other WSU assistants from last year's staff and where they ended up: Chris Ball is at ASU, Todd Sturdy at Iowa State, Chris Tormey at Wyoming, Todd Howard at Cal and Jody Sears at Weber State and Mike Levenseller at Idaho.
TODAY IS A BITTERSWEET one for Cougfan.com. Braulio Perez, who has covered darn near every Cougar football practice for us over the last three years -- summer, fall and spring -- is off to work as a sports reporter for the Lynden Tribune in Whatcom County. Yesterday was his final practice with us. Though we hope to keep him around to write an occasional feature storty, it just won't be the same around here without Braulio on the sidelines. He's a sharp young man with a very bright future.