Washington State didn’t need to conduct a national search for a new head football coach when Mike Price resigned December 17. His successor was already on campus. He was familiar with WSU, Pullman, and the Pac-10.

Bill Doba, defensive coordinator at WSU since 1994, was introduced less than 24 hours after Price announced he had taken the top football coaching job at University of Alabama. Doba waited 41 years for his day to come.

“I could have gone to my grave and not missed a thing about my coaching experience, but this really is a coach’s dream,” Doba, 62, said at a campus media conference.

Athletic director Jim Sterk ticked off the attributes that weighed heavily in Doba’s hiring-his loyalty, dedication to coaching, knowledge of football, and how the Cougars “play heart and soul for Coach Doba.”

Doba was the architect of WSU’s famed “Palouse Posse,” second-best defensive team in the country in 1994. During the 2002 season, WSU limited Pac-10 opponents to only 59.4 yards per game rushing.

The South Bend, Indiana, native coached high school football for 12 years, then spent 15 years as an assistant at Indiana, Purdue, and The Citadel. He was the lone holdover from Price’s original 1989 staff.

Now he wants to build on recent successes to take Cougar football to new heights.

He believes more games are lost on the blackboard than on the field. He doesn’t ask players to do something they aren’t capable of. And he doesn’t play them until they are ready.

Doba’s base salary is $500,000 per year. With incentives, he could earn $800,000.

He has no reservations about becoming a head coach at age 62.

“You’ve got to start somewhere. I just started later.”