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Washington State Cougars

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Washington State Cougars

Washington State Cougars
University Washington State University
Conference Pacific-12
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Bill Moos
Location Pullman, WA
Varsity teams 17
Football stadium Martin Stadium
Basketball arena Beasley Coliseum
Baseball stadium Bailey-Brayton Field
Mascot Butch T. Cougar
Nickname Cougars
     Crimson       Gray
Website .com.wsucougarswww

The Washington State Cougars are the athletic teams at Washington State University; the term applies to any of the school's varsity teams. Washington State University is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, which participates in the NCAA Division I, and is located in Pullman, Washington. The athletic program comprises Ten women's sports: basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball; and six men's sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, track and field. The school also offers various intramural sports.


  • Varsity athletics 1
    • Football 1.1
    • Men's basketball 1.2
    • Baseball 1.3
  • National team championships 2
  • Rivalries 3
  • 1915 football season 4
  • Athletic directors 5
  • Spirit and traditions 6
    • Cougar mascot 6.1
    • Cougar logo 6.2
    • Colors 6.3
    • Fight song 6.4
    • ZZU CRU 6.5
    • Victory Bell 6.6
    • Presence on ESPN College GameDay 6.7
    • The Cougar Cannon 6.8
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Varsity athletics

Washington State University is a member of the Pac-12 athletic conference. The school's mascot is Butch T. Cougar and the school's colors are crimson and gray. Varsity athletics include:

WSU formerly had varsity programs in boxing, wrestling, gymnastics, and rifle. In 1937, boxers Roy Petragallo and Ed McKinnon won individual titles and the Cougar team, under coach Ike Deeter (1902-2003),[1] won the NCAA boxing championship,[2] WSU's first national championship.[3] (The Inland Northwest was a hotbed of the sport as Idaho and Gonzaga also had top programs and won national titles.)[3] Collegiate boxing fell from favor in the 1950s and the Cougar program was dropped 56 years ago in May 1960;[4][5] the NCAA stopped its sponsorship less than a year later.[6] The WSU wrestling program was discontinued 30 years ago, after the 1986 season,[7] and women's gymnastics the following year.[8][9] Men's gymnastics was cut earlier, after the 1980 season,[10] rifle in 1987,[9] and men's tennis in 1994.[11][12] Other former programs include men's swimming[13] and skiing.[14]

The men's track and field team won the NCAA indoor national championship in 1977.[15]


During the 2001-2003 seasons, the Cougar football teams were distinguished by three ten-win seasons,[16] three top ten poll rankings, and appearances in the Sun Bowl, Rose Bowl and Holiday Bowl. The Cougars shared the Pac-10 title in 2002.[17] Paul Wulff, WSU's 31st head football coach, was fired on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 after completing his fourth season with a 9-40 overall record. Former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has been hired to take over the Cougar's football program after Wulff's departure.

Men's basketball

The Pac-10 Conference's top teams. Before becoming WSU head coach in 2005, Tony Bennett spent three seasons at WSU as an assistant to his father, Dick Bennett. In both the 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 seasons, his Cougar teams had 26 wins each, tying the Washington State school record set by the 1940–41 team. Ken Bone was tapped as the Cougars' head coach[21] on April 6, 2009, after the younger Bennett accepted the head coaching position at Virginia. Following a 10-21 (3-15 conference) season, Bone was fired[22] as head coach on March 18, 2014. He had two years of his guaranteed seven-year contract remaining.


National team championships

As of July 2, 2014, Washington State has 2 NCAA team national championships.[23]

Below are 5 national team titles that were not bestowed by the NCAA:

  • Men's Rifle (4): 1909, 1910, 1915, 1933
  • Men's Skiing (1): 1953

see also:


Cougar fans celebrate on the field after an Apple Cup win in 2004.

Washington State's biggest rival is the University of Washington (UW) Huskies. One of the most important athletic contests for both schools is the Apple Cup:[24][25] the annual game between the Cougars and the University of Washington Huskies and is traditionally held on the third Saturday of November.

As the two main public universities in the state, WSU and UW have a geographic rivalry.

Rivalries also exist between WSU and the other Pac-12 teams of the Pacific Northwest: the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers. Competition between the schools in football has been very competitive over the years, as the Cougars hold a 47-44-3 advantage in the series against OSU and trail UO by a tally of 38-42-7.

WSU’s closest geographic rival is the University of Idaho, another land-grant school only eight miles (13 km) east in Moscow. The Battle of the Palouse, the annual football game, was revived in 1998 for a 10-year run, and is usually held at Martin Stadium in Pullman.[26] Since 2007, the game has been played only once, in 2013, and the next is scheduled for 2016; WSU has won the last eight and holds a 71-18-3 (.788) advantage in the series.

1915 football season

The Washington State Warriors won the 1916 Rose Bowl, finished the season at 10-0 and outscored its opponents 204-10. They were among three teams that went undefeated that year, the other two being Cornell University (currently recognized as the 1915 champions) and the University of Pittsburgh. In 1915, WSC was awarded the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl Game and was set to play Brown University, which had lost only one game, to Harvard University (who in turn lost to Cornell 10-0) by a score of 16-7. Washington State beat Brown in the Rose Bowl 14-0.[27] However, a 1915 national championship was never awarded until 1935, when a Princeton University graduate submitted the first national polling of that season, and Cornell was awarded the title twenty years after the 1915 season.[28]

Athletic directors

Individuals who have served as athletic director for the Cougars, according to WSU Sports Information, include:

  • Bill Moos, 2010–Present [29][30]
  • Jim Sterk, 2000–2010 [31][32]
  • Rick Dickson, 1994–2000 [33][34][35]
  • Jim Livengood, 1987–1994 [36][37][38]
  • Dick Young, 1983–1987 [39][40]
  • Sam Jankovich, 1976–1983 [41][42][43][44][45]
  • Ray Nagel, 1971–1976 [46][47]
  • Stan Bates, 1954–1971 [48][49][50][51]
  • Golden Romney, 1951–1954, both AD and Dean of Physical Education[52][53][54]
  • Robert Brumblay, 1949–1950 [55][56][57][58]
  • Lloyd Bury, 1946–1949, AD/Graduate Manager
  • Earl Foster, 1925–1946, AD/Graduate Manager
  • J. Fred (Doc) Bohler, Director of Department of Physical Education and Athletics, 1915-1948[59]

Spirit and traditions

Cougar mascot

The first mascot was a terrier named "Squirt" as someone brought a pet dog to campus.[60] The mascot became the Indians during the decade spanning 1910-1919, known as "Carlisle Connection".[60] Three football coaches came from the famous Carlisle Indian College in Pennsylvania: Frank Shivley, William "Lone Star" Dietz and Gus Welch.

Following the first football game between WSU and California in 1919, an Oakland cartoonist portrayed the Washington State team as fierce Northwest cougars chasing the defeated Golden Bears. A few days later, on October 28, WSU students officially designated "Cougars" as their team mascot.

In 1927 during the Homecoming football game against the neighboring University of Idaho, Governor Roland H. Hartley presented a cougar cub to the WSU students. The cub was originally to be called "Governor Hartley," in honor of its donor. The governor gracefully declined and suggested the name "Butch," in honor of Herbert "Butch" Meeker of Spokane, who was WSU's gridiron football star at the time.[61]

Governor Clarence D. Martin presented Butch II to the student body in 1938. Butch III and IV were twin cubs presented by Governor Arthur B. Langlie in January 1942. Governor Langlie also presented Butch V in 1955. Butch VI, the last live mascot on campus, died in the summer of 1978. Governor Albert Rosellini had presented him to WSU in 1964 from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo.[61]

Today, the mascot, named Butch T. Cougar, is a student wearing a cougar costume. The student playing the mascot is anonymous; the student's identity is only revealed after the last sporting event of the school year, usually the last home basketball game of the season.

Cougar head logo dates to 1936

The Cougar logo was developed in July 1936 by art student Randall Johnson (1915–2007), a graduate of Pullman High, while working as a summer sign painter on campus. Fred Rounds, the head of the buildings and grounds department, suggested to Johnson that Washington State College needed a trademark, and both agreed it needed to be pictoral and include the initials of the school, then WSC.[62]

After a few nights, Johnson came up with a design using the letters WSC to form a cougar head, and Rounds promptly took it to the administration for official approval. With the president on sabbatical, the acting president gave the nod and its first use was on the door of a campus truck. Johnson graduated in 1938 and went to work in Spokane, where he spent his career in advertising at the local electric utility. When the school became a university in 1959, he modified the mouth of the cougar to incorporate the new "U".[63]


The first school colors were pink and blue, said to be chosen by the first WSU president's wife when she was so in awe of the blue and pink sunsets of the Palouse.[64] A student election in November 1900 changed the school colors to their current Crimson and Gray.[65]

Fight song

Fight, fight, fight for Washington State,
Win the victory,
Win the day for Crimson and Gray!
Best in the West,
We know you'll all do your best,
So on, on, on, on!
Fight to the end!
Honor and glory you must win!
So fight, fight, fight for Washington State and Victory!
Go Cougs!


The ZZU CRU is the official student fan club for WSU Basketball. The $10 membership fee gives students an official club T-shirt, discount card that is good for 15% discounts at various local businesses, exclusive access to prime seating at games, contests, and exclusive member opportunities for player autographs. The lower section of the arena, where the ZZU CRU sits, is called The Cage. ZZU CRU members' events throughout the year include a Pre-Season Party, ZZU CRU @ the COUG, and a Post-Season Party. Members earn prizes based on the number of basketball games they attend. The attendance prizes for attending women's games are the best. At the end of the season, those with the best attendance get better prize packages, including clothing and sports equipment. The top 10 members are entered into a drawing to receive two basketball tickets to the Pac-12 Tournament. Currently, ZZU CRU has a count of 2,750 members for the 2008-2009 season. Members can be anyone from students to alumni, to visitors who just would like a shirt. The ZZU CRU was created by a 2005 Alumni during her time as an intern for Cougar Athletic Marketing. Her vision was to bring the deep Cougar Pride of the student body together to create a homecourt advantage in Beasley Coliseum.

Victory Bell

In the late 19th century the bell was mounted on the ground in the center of campus to start and dismiss class. Later, it was placed on top of Old College Hall when automatic bells were used, and then on Bryan Hall. The bell was first rung in victory after WSU beat the Washington Huskies by the women's basketball team in 1902. Later, the members of the Intercollegiate Knights rang the bell following a football win. It was subsequently moved to the present College Hall, and now rests on the west side of the Alumni Centre where it is rung by the Student Alumni Ambassadors after each football win.

Presence on ESPN College GameDay

The popular

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ "Fall, illness take boxing coach". Spokesman-Review. December 2, 2003. p. C1. 
  2. ^ "Washington State boxers defeat Big Ten champions on fight card". Spokesman-Review. April 17, 1937. p. 15. 
  3. ^ a b Harriman, Peter (January 18, 1998). "When rings were sacred". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  4. ^ "WSU quits college boxing". Spokesman-Review. May 26, 1960. p. 17. 
  5. ^ "Cougars to drop collegiate boxing". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 26, 1960. p. 39. 
  6. ^ "Boxing breakup began eight years ago". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. January 13, 1961. p. 16. 
  7. ^ Devlin, Vince (May 9, 1985). "Initial Cougar cuts hit wrestling volleyball". Spokane Chronicle. p. D1. 
  8. ^ Condotta, Bob (January 5, 1987). "Gymnastics tumbles". Idahonian (Moscow, Idaho). p. 7. 
  9. ^ a b "Cougars will cut rifle, women's gym programs". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. January 7, 1987. p. C2. 
  10. ^ Bjella, Lee. "Washington State University Men". Washington State Gymnastics History. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ Barrows, Bob (June 7, 1994). "Coach's coerced farewell". Lewiston Morning Tribune (Lewiston, Idaho). p. 1B. 
  12. ^ Sullivan, Tim (October 2, 1990). "A long stay". Idahonian (Moscow, Idaho). p. 1C. 
  13. ^ "Pac-10 Men's Swimming and Diving" (PDF). Pacific 10 Conference. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Cougar skiers head for McCall". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. April 4, 1958. p. 15. 
  15. ^ Pac-10 Conference And The NCAA Championships
  16. ^ Cougars, Doba face pivotal season Retrieved July 21, 2009
  17. ^ 2002-03 Pacific-10 Football Season In Review
  18. ^ "Washington State season-by-season results". Sports Reference LLC. 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ "NCAA Division I Mens Basketball – NCAA Division I Champions". Rauzulu's Street. 2004. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. p. 534.  
  21. ^ Ken Bone Profile Retrieved July 21, 2009
  22. ^ Ken Bone fired by WSU Retrieved March 19, 2014
  23. ^
  24. ^ "A day to remember".  
  25. ^ Glen Kasses (2006-11-18). "Apple Cup never lacks for meaning".  
  26. ^ "90th "Battle of the Palouse" plays out in Pullman". The  
  27. ^ 1916 Rose Bowl game
  28. ^ Tom Benjey Time for WSU to claim 1915 national title, February 17, 2006
  29. ^ Withers, Bud (February 23, 2010). "Washington State will hire Bill Moos to replace Jim Sterk as athletic director". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ Withers, Bud (May 8, 2010). "New Cougars AD Bill Moos, WSU stories intertwined". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  31. ^ Withers, Bud (December 30, 2002). "Small-town Sterk good fit in Pullman". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  32. ^ Withers, Bud (September 14, 2011). "Jim Sterk and where the Cougars went wrong". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  33. ^ Rockne, Dick (March 3, 1994). "New AD expresses confidence in self,...". Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Northwest - Dickson to leave WSU for Tulane". Associated Press. December 14, 1999. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  35. ^ Rockne, Dick (December 16, 1999). "Dickson cites family first in move". Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  36. ^ Bergum, Steve (August 12, 1987). "'"Livengood ready to 'get to work. Spokesman-Review. p. D1. 
  37. ^ "Coaches say they'll miss Livengood". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Associated Press. December 7, 1993. p. 3C. 
  38. ^ The 1987 Appointment of Jim Livengood in WSU History by Decades
  39. ^ Devlin, Vince (August 18, 1983). "Cougars settle on Young". Spokesman Review. p. 37. 
  40. ^ Blanchette, John (June 2, 1987). gone"is"This time WSU's Young really . Spokesman Review. p. B1. 
  41. ^ Missildine, Harry (August 14, 1976). "Jankovich new A.D. at Washington State". Spokesman-Review. p. 13. 
  42. ^ Ellingsen, Linda (July 26, 1979). "Jury clears air in Jankovich case". Spokesman-Review. p. 8. 
  43. ^ Stewart, Chuck (July 16, 1983). "Jankovich heads for Miami". Spokesman-Review. p. 13. 
  44. ^ Blanchette, John (August 10, 1983). "Love him, hate him, Jankovich got job done". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  45. ^ Devlin, Vince (January 24, 1984). "Jankovich: From copper city to panning for gold in Miami". Spokane Chronicle. p. C1. 
  46. ^ "WSU 'A.D.' position goes to Ray Nagel". Spokesman-Review. May 20, 1971. p. 16. 
  47. ^ Missildine, Harry (June 11, 1976). "Ray Nagel to Hawaii". Spokesman-Review. p. 25. 
  48. ^ "Cougar athletic boss once a leading coach". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 5, 1955. p. 20. 
  49. ^ Weaver, Dan (June 8, 1989). "Trip to Monroe is a trip home for Stan Bates". Spokesman-Review. p. D1. 
  50. ^ "Bates named to WAC post". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. April 6, 1971. p. 16. 
  51. ^ "A man of influence, Bates dies at age 86". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. November 13, 1996. p. 1B. 
  52. ^ """Romney blames letdown in morals for hoop "fix. Spokane Daily Chronicle. March 20, 1951. p. 17. 
  53. ^ "Romney rites held in Provo chapel". Deseret News. August 12, 1963. p. 6A. 
  54. ^ "Rites held for Lewiston stake head". Deseret News. August 24, 1963. p. 3, Church News. 
  55. ^ "Silence shrouds WSC moves". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 23, 1949. p. 8. 
  56. ^ "Brumblay denies rumors he's quitting at Pullman". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 28, 1950. p. 17. 
  57. ^ "WSC athletic head to meet with regents". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 8, 1950. p. 15. 
  58. ^ "Brumblay quits WSC sport post". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 9, 1950. p. 1. 
  59. ^ John Frederick Bohler Biography
  60. ^ a b "Squirt".  
  61. ^ a b "Traditions".  
  62. ^ "Cougar logo creator dies at age 91". WSU News. February 22, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  63. ^ "Trademarks: Cougar logo". Washington State University. Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  64. ^ "Colors".  
  65. ^ "The Colors Changed".  
  66. ^ Hannelore Sudermann (2005-09-01). "How Coug Are You?".  
  67. ^ Josh Pflug, The Daily Evergreen, Vol 117, No 15 "The Touchdown Cannon Returns," September 10, 2010


After every touchdown and Cougar win, the WSU ROTC Department fires a blank round from a "Pack-75" 75mm Towed Howitzer. The concussion from the celebratory blast is seen, heard and felt by everyone in and around Martin Stadium. The cannon is property of the Washington Army National Guard and on loan to the university in support of WSU Athletics and the WSU ROTC Department. The ROTC "Cannon Crew" is composed exclusively of ROTC Cadets who are also members of the Washington Army National Guard. The cannon was first brought to WSU in 1993 and was fired from a balcony atop the Compton Union Building (CUB) overlooking Martin Stadium until 2006. Following the 2006 season, due to the CUB remodel, the cannon was absent from WSU Football. The cannon returned for the 2010 and 2011 seasons and now fires from atop the newly remodeled WSU Library, also overlooking Martin Stadium. The Pack-75 Howitzer is of WWII vintage where it saw combat service with units of the Washington Army National Guard in both the Philippines and Guadal Canal.[67] Electronic Arts, a major video game studio, picked up on the tradition and features a blast from the cannon after Cougar touchdowns (home games) in its popular EA Sports NCAA Football series.

The Cougar Cannon

As reported on Oct. 21, 2015 by several news organizations, WSU is one of eight university's being considered for College Gameday on Oct. 31, 2015.1

crew. However, it was widely assumed by Cougars fans that the show would not make plans to broadcast from Pullman until Washington State was relevant again in college football. GameDay has been acknowledged by the [66]

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