I want to take this opportunity to congratulate both the Washington State and Washington football programs in providing a terrific Apple Cup game last Saturday. The players from both programs made the 100th game of the intrastate rivalry one to remember.
Our win, and the exciting manner of how we earned it, will be added to the long list of tremendous memories this series has given all Cougar fans. We are privileged at WSU to be associated with this terrific rivalry. It is an important part of our storied history.
Saturday's Apple Cup game marked the end of the football season for Washington State. During the course of the season, I have repeatedly stated that I would evaluate the program at the end of the season, as I do for all of our sport programs.
This morning, President Floyd, Coach Doba, and I met to do exactly this. In the meeting, we mutually agreed that it would be in the program's best interest to make a transition with our head coaching position. We believe this transition will place the future of the football program in the best possible position.
Coach Doba is an individual of the highest quality, loyalty, and character. He has served on the coaching staff at Washington State with distinction for 19 seasons, the last five as head coach. During this time Bill Doba played a significant role in placing the program on the national stage, as evidenced by our two Pac-10 championships, six bowl appearances, including two Rose Bowls, and three consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-03.
I want to thank Coach Doba for the hard work and dedication he gave to the program. In everything he did, he always had the best interests of Washington State football, the Athletic Department, and the University first and foremost in mind.
A national search to fill the head coaching position will begin immediately. Among the qualities I will be looking for in candidates are: they must have the coaching experience that will place them in a position to be successful at the Pac-10 and BCS level; they must be someone who places the student-athlete experience at WSU (athletics, academics, personal growth) as a primary objective; and they must be a spokesperson for the program who will represent the University in a positive manner.
I began this column by talking about the significance of Saturday's Apple Cup win. There is one other significance that I want to mention. It is fitting that Coach Doba can end his illustrious coaching career at Washington State with one of the greatest victories in the 100-year history of the Apple Cup.