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Football

Spring 2010

Cougar pride

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 …

Winter 2009

Doubling back

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.

This day marks … » More …

Summer 2003

They’re back! Doba’s football staff includes five former Cougars

As athletes they brought recognition to Washington State University. Now, as assistant coaches, Mike Levenseller, Michael Walker, Timm Rosenbach, Ken Greene, and George Yarno are being counted on to help shape the football future at their alma mater.

Who said you can’t go home again?

Not Bill Doba.

He’s been on the WSU football staff for 15 years, but this is his first as head coach. Cougar pedigrees are obviously important to him. For starters, he convinced assistants Levenseller (offensive coordinator/wide receivers) and Walker (defensive line) to stay, rather than follow former Cougar coach Mike Price to Alabama. He got the same commitment from two … » More …

Spring 2003

Long wins Outland Trophy, four named All-America

Washington State’s Rien Long proved to be more than a “West Coast wonder.” The 6-6, 286-pound defensive tackle earned the Outland Trophy as college football’s top interior lineman for 2002.

“He put us on the map tonight,” coach Mike Price said of the junior from Anacortes. They attended the College Football Awards Show together December 12 in Orlando, Florida.

Long’s defensive prowess was recognized earlier in the season. He was picked to a number of All-America first teams, including those of the Associated Press and the Football Writers Association. His regular season statistics included 20.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and three pass deflections.

Three … » More …

Spring 2003

Patient Doba pays his dues, realizes his dream

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.

» More …

Winter 2002

Lone Star Dietz left a football legacy

“That was the game which was to change the face of New Year’s Day in the years to come.”—Rose Bowl historian Rube Samuelsen

In the first four decades of the 20th century, hardly a week went by during football season when the name of William H. “Lone Star” Dietz’s didn’t appear in the nation’s sports pages. Today it’s rarely heard in Pullman, or anywhere else. In spite of that near silence for 60 years now, the one-time Washington State College football coach (1915-1917, 17-2-1 record) left a legacy that could land him in the College Football Hall of Fame next year.

He began his coaching … » More …

Summer 2004

WSU Hall of Fame adds 5 who excelled

Carol Gordon

On February 21, the day of her induction into Washington State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Carol Gordon offered a silent prayer. That evening she shared her petition with 180 guests at the induction banquet in the Compton Union Building.

“Please let me speak before George [Raveling],” the longtime WSU professor, coach, and administrator said. Her comment drew a rousing ovation from the audience, including Raveling himself. The charismatic Cougar basketball coach from 1972-83 would speak later. Olympic gold medallist Julius Korir; Linda Williams Sheridan, Spokane prep coaching legend; and football All-America Mike Utley were the other honorees.

Gordon championed women’s athletics at … » More …

Fall 2005

I never said thank you.

May 2005

Inside the First Samoan Congregational Church in Oceanside, California, the Rev. Junior Tupuola is addressing his congregation, when he notices a figure in white moving across the back of the sanctuary. To Tupuola, it resembles an angel.

As the figure reaches the end of the aisle, Tupuola can see that it’s clad in jeans, the blue color of which stands out against the brightly colored clothing of the islanders sitting in the pews.

The figure stops and turns toward Tupuola. The white resolves into a Washington State University jersey. Crimson numerals take shape.

No. 19. Rod Retherford’s jersey number.

From the pulpit, Tupuola … » More …