Ask Greg Witter (’84 Comm.) when he realized was here to stay and he breaks into a big smile and proclaims matter-of-factly: “Oh, this is a fun story.”

It’s only fitting, because storytelling in the truest sense⁠—compelling, informative, and insightful⁠—is the heart and soul of this digital media enterprise that started 25 years ago this month as a self-proclaimed “cyber pub” for Cougar sports fans. The mission hasn’t wavered but CF.C has evolved into a news-breaking, award-winning juggernaut that is now part of CBS Sports’ 247 college network.

With, WSU fans have had a front-row seat to every triumph, trial, and unforgettable moment in Cougar sports over the last quarter century.

But back to the story about knowing when was here to stay. “It was right after Christmas, in 2000, and I’m talking with Mike Price,” remembers Witter, who cofounded the site in August 1998 with cousin John Witter (’84 Comm.) and Coug-by-marriage Jack Evans.

“Mike mentions he bought a home computer for Joyce and that once he connected it to the web his first stop was That was heartwarming, but the tale gets going when Mike says he’d just finished reading our story on a kicker he was recruiting when his phone rang. It was the kicker, Graham Siderius, calling to verbally commit. ‘I already know,’ Price told him. ‘I just read on Cougfan that you were planning to call.’ At that point, it seemed clear we were becoming part of the fabric of Coug Nation.”

Now here’s a key takeaway and an illustration of the founders’ love for Washington State: except for a bit devoted to marketing, all the revenue is plowed back into the product. Cougfan effectively is a public service.

Sixty percent of the content is free and 40 percent requires a modest subscription that lands members in what Witter calls “the most astute and passionate club of Cougars on the planet.”


FRUSTRATED BY THE LACK of WSU coverage in the Seattle market over the years, the Witter cousins and Evans decided, in the wake of the 1998 Rose Bowl, to take advantage of a then-still-new Internet to bring Cougar news to Cougs everywhere.

From modest beginnings, when 200 readers a day was cause for celebration, CF.C grew steadily and now attracts thousands of fans per day⁠—even tens of thousands on days like Mike Leach’s hiring, ESPN College GameDay’s arrival in Pullman, Price’s departure for Alabama, and every Signing Day in recruiting.

The highs have been ethereal: the 2003 Rose Bowl berth … the 2008 Sweet 16 run … Gardner Minshew and the 11-win 2018 season … the women’s basketball team’s Pac-12 title this past season.

The lows have been searing: the shocking deaths of Leon Bender, Elson Floyd, Tyler Hilinski, and Bryce Beekman⁠—and the end of an era when Bob Robertson passed in 2020.

Along the way, helped launch the professional careers of dozens of Murrow College products like Braulio Perez (’11 Comm.), now a senior editor in New York for FanSided; and Michael-Shawn Dugar (’14 Comm.), who covers the Seahawks for The Athletic.

“The steady array of talent on our staff over the years, both young and veteran, is so impressive,” says Greg Witter. “That’s the secret to our longevity.” has been a powerful platform for former WSU athletes. Tony Thompson (’09 Soc. Sci.), now an assistant professor in the Murrow College, worked as a CF.C sideline reporter for a season, while Mkristo Bruce (’06 Soc. Sci.) and Jamal Morrow (’17 Sport Mgmt.) served as analysts for a time. Current Cougs Cameron Ward and Ron Stone Jr. wrote columns last season.

I was the first (and now oldest) former athlete to join CF.C as a periodic columnist. A long list of others includes Gabe Marks (’16 Socio.), Alex Brink (’07 Sport Mgmt.), Ryan Leaf (’05 Hum.), Jed Collins (’05 Accounting), and Connor Halliday (’14 Soc. Sci.). We share our expertise on football, yes, but we’ve also explored broader issues such as mental health, racial equality, and the impact of name-image-likeness.


“FOR ME, THE BEAUTY OF is that we serve the WSU faithful on so many levels,” says managing editor Barry Bolton (’92 English), who has run day-to-day operations since 2003.

“We cover everything going on in football and basketball, to the tune of more than 1,000 stories a year. And you can count on one hand the number of football practices we’ve missed over all these years.

“We also exhaustively cover recruiting,” he notes. “And our feature stories on past and current players and coaches are nothing short of a treasure that goes back to the 1950s.”

That appreciation for the history of colorful characters and teams at Washington State stems from the Witter family’s century-plus love of the crimson and gray.

“As kids growing up in Spokane in the 1970s, Greg and I would meet at our grandpa’s house on Saturdays and listen to Cougar football on the radio,” remembers John. “He (Grandpa) grew up on the Palouse and would tell us fabulous stories about Lone Star Dietz, Buck Bailey, and others.”

Adds Greg, “Factor in our dads⁠—walking encyclopedias on WSU sports from the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s⁠—and my brother Steve (’76 Comm.), who started following the Cougs in 1964, and you have four powerful influences creating a pair of true believers who saw the Internet as the answer to spread the crimson gospel.”

Twenty-five years later, their “cyber pub” is going strong.


Paul Sorensen (’83 Comm.) is a former All-American safety and co-captain of the Cougars who was inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. Following stints in the NFL and USFL, he spent 14 seasons as a radio color analyst on WSU football broadcasts. He’s been writing award-winning columns for since 1998.