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Football

Jason Gesser
Winter 2014

The right color back on

Ask Jason Gesser ’02 about the finest decision he’s made and his answer is as pinpoint as each of the 70 career touchdown passes he threw at Washington State.

“Coming to Washington State was the perfect and best decision I made in my life,” he says. “Besides marrying my wife,” Gesser is quick to add, with a laugh. He married his college girlfriend Kali Surplus ’02, a former WSU volleyball player, and the couple has three children.

In his new role as the assistant director of development with the Cougar Athletic Fund, the fundraising arm of the Washington State University Athletic Department, his … » More …

WSU football building
Fall 2014

Cougar football—A new home at the core of campus

Mike Leach walks into the new Cougar Football Complex towering between the west end zone of Martin Stadium and Rogers Practice Field for a final tour in May before the program moves in. Looking up, the head coach says, “Where did you get the four-story football player?”

The tour’s leader, WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos ’73, laughs. A huge image of a Cougar football player stretches from the bottom of the open staircase to the top level of the new building. The figure will be even more visible when it’s lit up at night, he says.

It’s a grand entrance for the newest athletic building, … » More …

WSU football reunion
Spring 2014

After the games

Some students finish school and never take the time to look back. The same goes, perhaps even more so, for student athletes, who often return to their home states or get caught up in either pursuing pro careers or lives outside of sports.

This year, though, one football player made a special effort to reconnect athletes whose names were once synonymous with WSU.

Wanting to give back to the school that gave him a college career, Derek Sparks ’95 approached the WSU Athletic Department and asked if he could be of use in some way. Someone tossed out the idea of his reaching out … » More …

WSU tailgating
Winter 2013

Cougar encampments

On home game weekends during football season, WSU’s Pullman campus goes through a rapid and dramatic transformation. As soon as students and staff vacate their parking lots, a new community, equipped with hibachis and hot dog buns, motors in. These RV-driving Cougar fans come with their families, friends, and sometimes their cats and dogs, too. They set up outdoor living rooms, roam through campus, and share food and fun with the friends and strangers around them.

“It really is its own culture,” says Bridgette Brady, director of transportation services. “What we have here is very important to WSU. And we are unique in how many … » More …

Apple Cup 2012
Spring 2013

One happy ending

It was the biggest comeback in Apple Cup history. The Cougs were down by 18 points going into the fourth quarter last November. The team dug deep, persevered, and achieved a 31-28 victory in overtime, behind the running of senior Carl Winston III, and the play of every defensive and offensive WSU player on the field. Jubilant Cougar fans poured onto the field after the win to celebrate with Coach Mike Leach and the team.

Read a full recap of the 2012 Apple Cup and see more photos at the WSU Athletics website.

Photos by Shelly Hanks. ©2013 Washington State University

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Mike Leach coaching WSU football players in 2012
Fall 2012

A talk with Mike Leach about life, animals…and Cougar football

I understand how the interview with Washington State University’s new head football coach Mike Leach drifts from Cougar football to life in Pullman and pirates in Key West (I asked that one), but bulls in ancient Rome? The Tokyo fish market?

It starts out on track, as I meet with Leach at his office in Bohler Gym looking onto the practice field and the south side of Martin Stadium. As workers on scaffolds rush to complete the new addition to the stadium before fall, Leach points out proudly how the project is on time and under budget.

He grabs several posters of the proposed football … » More …