Early one afternoon in June, former head football coach Jim Walden drops by the newly-renovated WSU Athletics weight room to check in on the project.
Just a few students are working out. However, Walden observes, the relative tranquility belies how active the room usually is in the fall when scores of athletes from a variety of sports are in for training.
When he ran the football program between 1978 and 1986, getting his team quality time in the weight room was a regular challenge. “Having coached my entire career, and college especially, time is of the importance to athletes,” said Walden. “They spend so … » More …
Though they attended Washington State nearly a half century apart, Gary Schneidmiller and Herbert Meeker share an unbreakable bond to a storied tradition.
For the past three decades, Washington State’s mascot, Butch, has been an anonymous student in a costume; however, for students who attended the school between 1927 and 1978, memories of Butch are much different.
“My first memories of our live cougar were when I visited Pullman with my parents. A trip by Butch’s Den was a mandatory stop from the perspective of a little kid,” said Schneidmiller, ‘71 alumnus.
“As a student I remember Butch in his den, the Butchmen who helped … » More …
Drew Bledsoe may be best remembered by Washington State fans for what he accomplished on a snowy day in November 1992.
And while visions of Bledsoe, receiver Phillip Bobo, and a snow bank are foremost in their memories, these days, Bledsoe wants Cougar fans to know him not only for great plays but for making great wine.
“It is very important for me that people know that this is a true passion of mine,” he says. “We are very committed to producing only the best wine that we can.”
On a sweltering July day in Walla Walla, Bledsoe’s passion is on display.
GETTING TO THE INAUGURAL post-season Pac-10 women’s basketball tournament is not a problem. All conference teams are invited to the March 1-4 tourney in Eugene, Oregon. The challenge is to succeed.
Last year, the Cougars were 11-17 overall and ninth in the league. With eight letter-winners gone, just about every position is wide open. “Questions will be answered by how hard the players compete,” coach Jenny Przekwas says as she embarks on her third campaign in Pullman. “We have some good experience returning and a really high desire to win.”
Guard Jessica Collins, back for a fifth season after a medical hardship year, leads the … » More …
On October 2, 1954, a day shy of his 21st birthday, fullback Carl Talmadge “Duke” Washington ’59 and his fellow Cougars played the University of Texas on a sweltering day at Memorial Stadium.
The result was a 40-14 Texas victory, a forgettable day in the annals of Cougar football; however, the day reaches far beyond the athletics history of Washington State and Texas.
Washington, the starting fullback for the Cougars, became the first African-American to play at Memorial Stadium. To the Texas players, however, Washington was not a player making history, but a player to be reckoned with.
So here I am, about to row with the Washington State women’s rowing team on the Snake River.
This is not the first time I have rowed. That occurred a week before when I took some strokes in the new indoor rowing facility at the Bohler Athletic Complex. This is, however, to be my maiden voyage on an actual body of water.
A benefit of the indoor facility is that it allows coaches to provide one-on-one instruction, rather than shouting commands from a distance at the river.
After my first few strokes of the oar, Head Coach Jane LaRiviere walked over and grabbed my hands. … » More …
In May of 2007, former college basketball player Kayla Burt received word that her friend and college coach June Daugherty was in the hospital in critical condition.
Upon hearing the news, she thought of nothing but getting from her home in Oregon to Everett, Washington, to see Daugherty.
“I packed my bag in five minutes,” recalls Burt, who played for Daugherty from 2001 to 2006 on the University of Washington’s women’s team. “I thought June had had a heart attack. I didn’t know if she had passed away because I didn’t have a lot of information. Immediately my adrenaline started going and I just left.”
On a raw, wet fall afternoon in Eugene, Oregon, in late October 1984, Rueben Mayes’ feet carried him to what was at the time the greatest accomplishment of any NCAA running back.
Just a week earlier, Mayes ran for 216 yards at Stanford in a rally that brought Washington State University from a 28-point third quarter deficit to a 49-42 win.
“The game against Stanford was one of his greatest efforts as a college player,” says Mark Rypien, quarterback of the ’84 team. But then he did one better. “The numbers that he had against Oregon were unbelievable.”
During the early morning hours of Wednesday, February 6, Rich Rasmussen enters the Washington State University football office carrying two boxes, each containing a dozen donuts, and places them on the front counter.
Rasmussen opens the door to his office, where, taped on its outer side, is a piece of paper:
Core Values for WSU Football 2008: Compete – Compete to win Execution – Attention to detail Effort – Relentless on every rep Encouragement – Positive response to all situations
Rasmussen turns on his computer, checks his e-mail, and waits for the future of WSU football to commence.
In 1978, Sam Jankovich knew something had to be done about the football stadium.
With just 27,600 seats, Martin Stadium was much smaller than its counterparts in the Pacific-10 Conference. Because of a Pac-10 rule requiring guarantees of $25,000 to visiting teams, the Cougars had to truck up to Spokane to play certain opponents, namely USC, UCLA, and Washington, at the larger Joe Albi Stadium.
“If you could not bring in USC, UCLA, and Washington to Pullman, you could not bring the biggest attractions to where you get the biggest crowds,” said WSU’s former athletic director this spring when he stopped by Bohler Athletic Complex … » More …