BREAKING NEWS: DOBA GONE

TWO INDEPENDENT SOURCES close to the WSU Football program who asked not to be identified have confirmed to Cougfan.com that Bill Doba will not be back as the head coach at Washington State for next season. A press conference has been scheduled for 4:30 pm this afternoon with A.D. Jim Sterk and Doba in attendance.

The future of the assistant coaches, both immediate and long term, remains to be seen.

It is not uncommon for assistant coaches to be retained and continue recruiting to a school they may not be coaching at the next season.

It's certainly not exactly the ideal situation. But it's also probably better than having no recruiting presence out in the field at all.

Also, Washington State finished it's season before any other Pac-10 school this year -- coaches from other schools will not be able to be in as many homes as will Washington State's this next week -- they'll instead be coaching practices, studying film and preparing for their Saturday games.

It is also not altogether uncommon for an assistant or two to be retained by a new coach coming in for two reasons -- to ease the transition and to help recruiting.

One of the other details expected to come out in the press conference later today is where the 2.8 million it would require to buy out Doba's contract and the existing staff's will come from.

Doba compiled a 30-29 record at Washington State, guided the Cougs to a Top Ten national ranking in '03 and won three of the last four Apple Cups. However, the team under his stewardship has also not posted a winning record in four straight seasons, going 20-26 over that span.

Washington State under Doba posted the highest team GPA in recent memory over the summer school session earlier this year, a 3.0. There was also the recruiting class crafted by Doba and the staff that came in last year. It was not rated highly, but the early returns on the practice field and on Saturdays, particularly from the offensive side of the ball, have been glowing.

But ultimately, the bottom line in coaching is winning and losing, and the Cougs' past four seasons were spent staying home for the holidays.

KJR-AM 950 in Seattle will replay the press conference over the air at 5:50 pm this evening.