Huskies Insider Blog

Erickson, Neuheisel officially fired; Wulff still in limbo

Well two are done, and one is likely waiting to be done.

Yesterday reports swirled that Arizona State's Dennis Erickson of Arizona State, UCLA's Rick Neuheisel and Washington State's Paul Wulff would all be officially fired today.

Two of those coaches were informed they are done.

Erickson (ab0ve) met with AD Lisa Love and was told he would be let go after the season, but would coach a bowl game.

From Doug Haller's story from the Arizona Daily Republic

Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love met with Erickson today to finalize a parting that became necessary after ASU lost its final four games to fall to 6-6. The Sun Devils still will play in a bowl game, their first since 2007. In late October, when ASU was 6-2 and favored to win the Pac-12 South, the 64-year-old Erickson seemed likely to receive a contract extension.

Erickson will receive half of his $1.5 million guaranteed annual salary for the remaining year on his contract.

Erickson, sixth in most victories (179) among active coaches, is 31-30 at ASU with almost a third of those wins in his first season. The Sun Devils were 10-3 in 2007 and Pac-10 co-champions with Erickson earning Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Here's Erickson's statement he released.

As for Neuheisel, he was notified of his termination earlier today as his team prepares for the Pac 12 championship game.

From the LA Times story ...

Athletic Director Dan Guerrero became frustrated with the lack of progress in the program after the Bruins finished 4-8 in 2010, and that heightened after a 48-12 loss at Arizona in which Bruins players were involved in an on-the-field brawl.

Neuheisel has one year left on his contract and will receive $250,000, his base pay.

Neuheisel will coach the Pac-12 game this weekend, and Mike Johnson, offensive coordinator, will then take over as interim coach.

As for Paul Wulff, well, no one is quite sure what's going on, except for Bill Moos. The WSU AD went on ESPN 700 in Spokane and talked about the situation.

Vince Grippi has a run down of it.

UPDATE: I have listened to Bill Moos on his radio show this morning, which is the access I would have liked to have had last night. He says the decision will come in the next 24 hours and it will be his decision. He wants to do what's right for Washington State and for the future. He also needs energy in the fan base – talking once again about the Martin Stadium projects – and I get the impression he doesn't believe there is right now. He said have to decide “if staying the course or making a change is the right course to get there” He also doesn't believe Wulff has lost the team. As the show winds down, Moos reiterates that he'll make a decision with 24 hours and when he does, he expects everyone to close ranks. The reason for the wait: “I want to get a feel for where Paul is taking our program.” He doesn't watch practice, wants to evaluate the program in depth. He wants to win in every area of athletics. He thinks the football team needs more talent to compete for championships. One of his last comments: “I have a great president that allows me to run the program. He doesn't look over my shoulder.” With all that being said, my statement above about the future direction, which I left up for all to see, might have been too strong and I may have misread the tea leaves. Done it before but I can't take it back now. This much is true: One highly placed athletic department source, who would know, told me recently if it had been President Floyd's choice, Wulff would have been gone long ago. It would be hard to believe he's changed his mind after this year. And Moos reiterated just a few weeks ago he recommended Wulff four years ago because he was the right guy to lead the football program in the long run.