Is Moos-Wazzu marriage imminent?

BILL MOOS

THIS WASN'T A visit, it was a coronation. Elson Floyd gushed about Bill Moos. Bill Moos gushed about Elson Floyd. And the audience included a Who's Who of Cougar royalty – Jack Thompson, Keith Lincoln, Chad Eaton and more – on hand to support Moos' candidacy for athletic director. Bobo Brayton gave a resounding endorsement of Moos, cutting to the heart of it all in his earnest manner.

"He fills the bill real good," Brayton said, talking about Moos' leadership skills and track record. "He's been a Cougar since the day he was born."

The public forum portion of Moos' two-day tour of Pullman left observers with but one conclusion Wednesday afternoon: When's this marriage going to be made official?

"I don't need this job. I'm here because I want it. But it has to be right for both sides...I think we can get it done, I'll tell you that right now," said Moos.

Moos used terms like "If I am fortunate enough" and "I'd be honored to have the chance" when characterizing the strength of his interest in succeeding Jim Sterk. "I think I've got one more rodeo in me," he quipped after talking about his previous successes at Montana and Oregon.

By all accounts, Moos' meetings with coaches and staff Tuesday evening and all-day Wednesday went swimmingly.

Floyd said he was inundated by calls and emails in support of Moos after news of Sterk's move to San Diego State broke and that he decided to act on that outpouring of interest quickly to see if the two parties might be a fit.

Truth be told, sources close to the situation say Floyd had already speed-dialed Moos after Sterk's made his decision. The president met Moos for dinner last fall when Sterk was in the process of hiring Moos as an independent fundraising consultant. Floyd was said to be thoroughly impressed with Moos at the time.

Floyd said Wednesday that a decision on Moos would be made by the middle of next week. That will give both sides time to gauge the "comfort of the fit."

The only sticking point appears to be the non-compete clause that Moos has with Oregon. There are seven years remaining on the deal, which pays Moos about $200,000 a year. Moos said he's trying to work it out with Oregon but it's complicated. "I don't know if this is going to work, there are lots of variables here," said, adding that he would be honored to return to WSU and the job in Pullman, like no other, would get the juices flowing.

Moos hit a series of high notes at the forum. He talked about changing the Cougar culture, from being OK with mediocre, to thirsting to be a winner. He talked lighting a marketing fire in Spokane. He talked about having student-athletes growing intellectually, physically and spiritually.

He even aimed a shot or two at Oregon.

"Oregon insisted on a no-compete clause because they don't want to compete with me. And I don't blame 'em," said Moos.

"I love y'all, go Cougs!" he said in conclusion.

Clearly, Bill, the feeling is mutual. All that would seem to be left is figuring out a solution to the Oregon complication and arriving at a salary.

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