Paul Wulff

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Paul Wulff
Paul Wulff in 2009.jpg
Wulff in 2009
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Assistant head coach,
run game coordinator,
offensive line coach
Team Sacramento State
Conference Big Sky
Biographical details
Born (1967-02-25) February 25, 1967 (age 51)
Woodland, California
Alma mater Washington State University
Playing career
1986–1989 Washington State
1991 Raleigh–Durham Skyhawks
1992 New York/New Jersey Knights
Position(s) Center
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1993 Eastern Washington (VA)
1994–1997 Eastern Washington (OL)
1998–1999 Eastern Washington (OC/OL)
2000–2007 Eastern Washington
2008–2011 Washington State
2012–2013 San Francisco 49ers (OA)
2014 South Florida (OC/OL)
2015 Iowa State (VA)
2016–present Sacramento State (AHC/RGC/OL)
Head coaching record
Overall 62–80
Tournaments 2–3 (I-AA/FCS playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
2 Big Sky (2004, 2005)
3× Big Sky Coach of the Year
(2001, 2004, 2005)

Paul Louis Wulff (born February 25, 1967) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently assistant head coach, run game coordinator, and offensive line coach at California State University, Sacramento. Wulff served as the head football coach at Eastern Washington University from 2000 to 2007 and at Washington State University from 2008 to 2011, compiling an overall record of 62–80. As a student-athlete, he played on the offensive line at Washington State during the late 1980s, earning honorable mention All-American honors following his senior season in 1989.[1]

Early life and playing career[edit]

Born in Woodland, California, Wulff graduated from Davis Senior High School in Davis in 1985. He accepted a scholarship from head coach Jim Walden to attend Washington State University in Pullman, and redshirted his first year in 1985.[2] Wulff started four games at guard for the Cougars as a redshirt freshman in 1986. Later a center, he was a starter on the offensive line from 1986 to 1989 under three different head coaches: Walden, Dennis Erickson, and Mike Price.

During his junior year in 1988, the Cougars were led by Erickson and quarterback Timm Rosenbach, and scored an upset over top-ranked UCLA on the road, the first of five consecutive wins to close out the season. WSU tied for third in the Pac-10, and won the Apple Cup and the Aloha Bowl. It was Washington State's first bowl game in seven years and their first post-season victory in 63 years, since the Rose Bowl in January 1916.[3] WSU finished at 9–3 and sixteenth in both major polls.[4]

In his senior year under Price, the Cougars won six of their first seven games and were ranked fifteenth in mid-October.[5][6] After two close losses,[7] Wulff had an emergency appendectomy on Halloween and missed the final two games,[8][9] both defeats, and WSU finished at 6–5 with no bowl.[10]

Following graduation in 1990, Wulff signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL), but was released during the 1990 preseason.[11][12] During the spring of 1991, he played for the Raleigh–Durham Skyhawks in the newly created World League of American Football (WLAF). The team went winless (0–10) in its inaugural season and was folded. Wulff continued to play for another season in the league with the New York/New Jersey Knights, before ending his active career.

Coaching career[edit]

Wulff began his coaching career in 1993 as a volunteer assistant under head coach Dick Zornes at Eastern Washington University in Cheney. Zornes retired after that season and assistant coach Mike Kramer was promoted to head coach, who hired Wulff to a full-time position.[2][13] After four seasons as the Eagles' offensive line and strength coach, Wulff added offensive coordinator duties in 1998. When Kramer departed for conference rival Montana State after the 1999 season, the school named Wulff his successor.[14] During his eight seasons as EWU's head coach, Wulff compiled an overall record of 53 wins and 40 losses; the Eagles won two Big Sky Conference co-championships (2004 and 2005) and appeared three times in the Division I-AA (FCS) playoffs. Wulff earned Big Sky Coach of the Year honors in 2001, 2004, and 2005.[15]

Wulff returned to his alma mater after the 2007 season when he was named the 31st head football coach at Washington State on December 10.[1] He was the second alumnus to head the Cougar football program, after Phil Sarboe in the late 1940s.[1] After compiling a 9–40 record during four losing seasons at WSU, Wulff was fired on November 29, 2011,[16] and left with the lowest winning percentage (.184) in school history.[17] His teams only won four games in Pac-10 play, including a winless 0–9 conference mark in 2009—part of an overall record of 1–11, the worst in the school's modern football history.

In May 2012, Wulff joined former Pac-10 foe Jim Harbaugh as an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, with multiple duties on that side of the ball. In January 2014, he was hired as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at the University of South Florida in Tampa.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Wulff met his first wife Tammy Allen at WSU and they married in 1993. Diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in early 1997, she battled for over five years,[19][20] but succumbed in March 2002.[21] As a youth, Wulff's mother went missing and was never found.[2][22] The youngest of four children, he went to live with relatives, first with an uncle, then with his oldest brother.[2][23] Wulff and his wife Sherry have three children.[2][22]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Eastern Washington Eagles (Big Sky Conference) (2000–2007)
2000 Eastern Washington 6–5 5–2 5th
2001 Eastern Washington 7–4 3–4 5th
2002 Eastern Washington 6–5 3–4 4th
2003 Eastern Washington 6–5 3–4 6th
2004 Eastern Washington 9–4 6–1 T–1st L Div. I-AA Quarterfinal
2005 Eastern Washington 7–5 5–2 T–1st L Div. I-AA First Round
2006 Eastern Washington 3–8 2–5 T–6th
2007 Eastern Washington 9–4 5–2 2nd L FCS Quarterfinal
Eastern Washington: 53–40 32–24
Washington State Cougars (Pacific-10/Pac-12 Conference) (2008–2011)
2008 Washington State 2–11 1–8 9th
2009 Washington State 1–11 0–9 10th
2010 Washington State 2–10 1–8 10th
2011 Washington State 4–8 2–7 6th (North)
Washington State: 9–40 4–32
Total: 62–80
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ a b c Grippi, Vince (December 11, 2007). "WSU picks Wulff". Spokesman-Review. p. A1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Fox, Tom (December 4, 2004). "East of everywhere". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. p. 1B. 
  3. ^ Bergum, Steve (December 26, 1988). "WSU wins Aloha Brawl". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  4. ^ "Irish are No.1; WSU ranks 16th". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. January 4, 1989. p. C1. 
  5. ^ Bergum, Steve (October 15, 1989). "Cougs cruise behind Bruiser". Spokesman-Review. p. D1. 
  6. ^ "AP top 25". Idahonian. Moscow, Idaho. Associated Press. October 31, 1989. p. 10A. 
  7. ^ Meehan, Jim (October 30, 1989). "WSU 'D' torched by Sun Devils". Idahonian. Moscow, Idaho. p. 1B. 
  8. ^ "Wulff is out". Spokane Chronicle. October 31, 1989. p. B2. 
  9. ^ "Wulff lost for year after emergency surgery". Idahonian. Moscow, Idaho. October 31, 1989. p. 7A. 
  10. ^ Meehan, Jim (November 20, 1989). "Huskies sack WSU's bowl, season". Idahonian. Moscow, Idaho. p. 1B. 
  11. ^ Harvin, Al (May 11, 1990). "Jets Sign Rookie Center". New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ Harvin, Al (August 22, 1990). "Jets Report No Progress With 3 Unsigned Players". New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ Trimmer, Dave (January 18, 2005). "Wulff gets new 5-year contract". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  14. ^ Blanchette, John (December 9, 1999). "People's choice prevails". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  15. ^ Trimmer, Dave (November 23, 2005). "Eastern's Wulff shares Big Sky award with Kramer". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  16. ^ "Washington State fires Paul Wulff". November 29, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Football media guide" (PDF). Washington State University Athletics. 2010. p. 142. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  18. ^ "USF hires Paul Wulff as offensive coordinator". New York Times. Associated Press. January 10, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ Bergum, Steve (October 10, 1997). "Couple faced with fight for life". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  20. ^ Blanchette, John (September 5, 2001). "Wulff is in Cheney, but his heart is with ailing wife". Spokesman-Review. p. C1. 
  21. ^ "Tammy Wulff dies of cancer". Spokesman-Review. March 14, 2002. p. C2. 
  22. ^ a b Mero, Ted (May 17, 2008). "Power of perseverance". Lodi News-Sentinel. p. 11. 
  23. ^ Bergum, Steve (October 26, 1989). "Wulff keeps life centered". Spokesman-Review. p. D1. 

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