PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University football coach Paul Wulff has been fired.
"We've got the get the program in a position to compete and we've got to do it pretty quick, or, in my opinion, we're going to get left in the dust," said WSU Atheltic Director Bill Moos at an afternoon press conference.
"The great thing about Washington State University and being a Coug is that we don't do it like everybody else. We stick together and we don't eat our own," Wulff said in a press conference that immediately followed. "I leave with a heavy heart."
Moos said he hopes to have a new head coach named in the next few weeks, while a select few assistants carry on recruiting and checking on players.
Wulff, who Saturday completed his fourth year at WSU, compiled a 9-40 record, including a 4-8 mark in 2011. The four wins are the most during his tenure and included an upset of Arizona State and a last-minute victory at Colorado.
"There's no question I came here to rebuild our Cougar football program and I know how it needs to be done," said Wulff.
Citing low donations from alumni and apathy among Cougar fans, Moos said he has higher hopes for both the team and whoever takes over Wulff's job on the Palouse.
"You look at the stadium, no butts in the seats," said Moos. "We've either got to run with the big dogs or admit that we're a doormat.
"This place deserves big name people, it should be a destination, not a stepping stone," Moos added.
The former University of Oregon Athletic Director said a flashy, high octane offense and big names on the sidelines could help electrify fans.
"I know coaches, I know coaches who can tell me about coaches, I know athletic directors," he said, declining to mention specific names on the WSU coaching shortlist.
Moos said on his weekly radio show Monday that the team is undeniably better than it was four years ago but is not good enough to compete for the Pac-12 championship.
Wulff, who played at Washington State in the 1980s, was hired prior to the 2008 season from nearby Eastern Washington University following the five-year tenure of Bill Doba.
"Nobody wished more than me that Paul could have taken this thing," Moos said.
At Washington State, Wulff posted the worst career winning percentage for a coach in the program's history. The Cougars are just 4-32 in conference play under him.
"I love this place, I have no bitter feelings toward Washington State University," Wulff said. "I'm really excited to watch the next few years of Cougar football."
His original contract was for five years, but only the first three years were guaranteed. Wulff is guaranteed a year's severance pay of $600,000 if he is let go before the end of the five years.
In an earlier press statement, Moose wrote, "I appreciate all that Paul has done for Washington State football. He was hired with the objective of rebuilding this program and establishing a solid foundation. For that I thank him."