TRANSITIONING BEFORE THE 2003 ROSE BOWL
THE PUNDITS ARE WAXING eloquent in the wake of Bill Doba's departure. One called the "mutual decision" the ultimate presidential-candidate flip-flop. Another lauded the "cutting edge human resource-speak." Others noted the irony of a Husky-killing Cougar coach with a winning record being let go. And Bill Moos, who will head the search for a new coach, says WSU has a chance to seize history.
It has been 40 years since Washington State fired a football coach, so the overload of angst surrounding this divorce was no surprise. So much so that athletic director Jim Sterk wouldn't call it a firing Monday, just as Bill Doba wouldn't call it a resignation. With the participation of Elson Floyd, who became school president in July, they mutually agreed to call it a "mutually-agreed-upon transition" – which if nothing else puts Wazzu on the cutting edge of human-resources-speak, collegiate style.
– John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review
In what could be a first in college football history, the departing coach will be on the search committee for a new one. "We need another Tony Bennett. Howzzat?" Doba said when asked what he'd be looking for.
– Jim Moore, Seattle P-I
You could conclude that college football 2007 has officially gone daft. The Cougars just fired a coach for having a winning record, while Washington, once the dreadnought of the West Coast, is apparently OK with Tyrone Willingham going 11-24 in three seasons.
– Bud Withers, Seattle Times
“This should be like a Polish funeral, to celebrate life. Of course, if this were a real Polish funeral, there’d be some booze here.
– Bill Doba
A different place, Wazzu. What other school would find a football coach repeating his vow to resist retirement Saturday, then perform the ultimate presidential-candidate gymnastics exercise – the 180-degree flip-flop – to the sound of applause Monday? Where else would that coach equate the final day of a 43-year career as a celebration of life?
– John McGrath, Tacoma News Tribune
Doba said after Saturday's victory he would like a show of support from the administration … Sources within the athletic department said when Doba asked for such support in the morning meetings (with Sterk and Floyd) in the form of an extension, he was turned down. When asked about this at the press conference all Doba would say was "we had a discussion, but you have to be realistic, too."
– Vince Grippi, Spokesman-Review
Bill Doba. Nice guy. Husky killer. Architect of the school's biggest bowl win since Pasadena in 1916. Victim of college football's ever-growing expectations.
– Dick Rockne, Cougfan.com
When a reporter said he doubted that Doba — who had vowed after Saturday's victory at Washington — had agreed to step down, Doba said: "That's your problem."
–- Nick Geranios, AP
I honestly feel this is a prime opportunity to seize the moment and get a jump on the Huskies. Both programs are down. At Oregon, when we went after the Huskies, they were winning and it was a major challenge. This is maybe a time to step in with the right person who has charisma and energy, both for recruiting and to help get the stadium finished.
- Bill Moos, former Oregon AD and WSU assistant AD who will lead coaching search committee