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Washington State fires Wulff as coach

Washington State Cougars head coach Paul Wulff reacts to a pass interference penalty late
Wulff was 9-40 in his four seasons at Washington State.
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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)

Washington State football coach Paul Wulff was fired Tuesday after four years during which his teams won only nine games.

''I appreciate all that Paul has done for Washington State football,'' athletic director Bill Moos said in a statement announcing the firing. ''He was hired with the objective of rebuilding this program and establishing a solid foundation. For that I thank him.''

Wulff was 9-40 in his four seasons at Washington State, the worst winning percentage of any coach in the program's history. The Cougars went 4-8 this season, doubling their win total from 2010. They were just 4-32 in conference play under Wulff.

Wulff had one year remaining on his contract and was guaranteed a year's severance pay of $600,000 if he was let go before the end of the five years.

''We will begin the process of naming the next head coach immediately,'' Moos said. ''I will not be discussing details of the hiring process, only that I expect to name a successful candidate as soon as possible.''

Rumors that Wulff would be fired cropped up immediately after Saturday's loss to archrival Washington. Moos and Wulff met at least twice over the following days to discuss the future of the program.

Wulff, who played at Washington State in the 1980s, was hired prior to the 2008 season from nearby Eastern Washington University. He replaced Bill Doba, inheriting a program that was gutted by poor recruiting, off-field problems and academic sanctions that led to scholarship reductions. The program is only now returning to a full slate of scholarship players.

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The Cougars were hurt this year by quarterback injuries, in particular a broken clavicle suffered by starter Jeff Tuel in the first game that sidelined him for much of the season. They finished last in the Pac-12 North with a 2-7 league mark, beating Colorado and Arizona State.

Moos had said Monday that he expects Washington State to compete for Pac-12 championships.

Washington State also needs to energize its fan base to help pay for extensive renovations to Martin Stadium.

Construction has started on an $80 million project to add premium seating, luxury boxes and a new press box. Also on the drawing board is a $60 million football operations building.

Tagged: Washington, Washington State

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