Coach Paul Wulff is pleased by the progress of his team
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PULLMAN, Wash. – When the subject of Washington State Cougar football comes up, the last topic touched on is the classroom accomplishments of the student-athletes on Coach Paul Wulff’s roster. Typically the talk centers around wins, quarterbacks, running backs or even a summersault by team mascot Butch.
Given the opportunity, Coach Wulff loves talking about the academic accomplishments of his players as much as how much stronger they’ve become during the off season.
So how are the Cougs doing in the classroom?
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” responds Wulff with a proud smile. “We have less and less players when we get to the end of each term who are fighting to stay eligible.”
When Wulff was interviewed for the head coaching job at WSU, one of the main components in his proposed plan to rebuild Cougar football was to emphasize academic excellence.
“We’re very happy with our progress in academics. Our Academic Progress Rate (APR) in my first two years have been the highest we’ve had (at Washington State) in a number of years.”
The improved APR has led to Washington State achieving the second highest graduation rate in the Pac-10 Conference. That is just as impressive as a win/loss record given the caliber of universities comprising the Conference of Champions.
Coach Wulff sums up the importance of graduation rate and APR quite simply, “That’s very positive.”
WSU is regaining the reputation for recruiting student-athletes of high character. High school coaches are now familiar with just the kind of player Coach Wulff and his staff look for to add to their football roster.
With an eye for young men who excel both on and off the field, one of the hurdles to getting a good football player is lowered. Or in other words, just because a kid can play football doesn’t make him a Pac-10 caliber student.
“We have so many more kids that are being admitted based on their natural standards rather going through a special admission process. Our kids coming in, on the whole, are better academically than they’ve been in a number of years.”
– WSU Coach Paul Wulff
Coach Wulff is confident the outstanding improvements Cougar football players have made in academics over the past two years will be mirrored when they strap on helmets and lace ‘em up beginning this coming Sunday, August 8th on Rogers Field for the first session of fall camp.
So is Wulff geared up get to get back out there and begin another season of Cougar football?
“I am. Absolutely. There are still guys that have to learn things and we have to teach them because we’ve got so much youth. But our youth we do have is mature for their age. It’s not experience and it won’t be until they get older but we’re pretty fortunate. We’ve made some really good choices on the type of people we’re bringing in. They’re ‘from the neck up’ guys, which is what we want.”
– WSU Coach Paul Wulff
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