Paul Wulff is Washington State's version of Mike Gundy. Wulff just took a different path to land his dream job at his alma mater.
After spending the past 15 years at Eastern Washington, the final eight as head coach, Wulff is the first WSU letter-winner and alum to lead WSU's football program in nearly 60 years.
Wulff, like Gundy, has risen through the ranks because of offensive X's and O's.
Eastern Washington led the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA, in total offense in 2001. The Eagles were fourth in total offense in 2004 and 2005 and were sixth last season.
Similar to Gundy, Wulff's first priority is to instill discipline his first season. WSU has had 25 players arrested or charged with offenses that carried possible jail time the past two years.
OSU's roster wasn't plagued with that many police blotter incidents when Gundy took over after Les Miles bolted to LSU. But Gundy dismissed eight players his first year on the job.
Another similarity between the two head coaches? Wulff is a man. He's 40. Or he was until a few months ago. (They're almost the same age. Wulff is six months older.)
The biggest difference, though, between Wulff and Gundy is the paths they took to land their dream job.
Gundy was a Division I-A assistant for 15 years. Wulff spent 15 years in Division I-AA, but was a head coach the final eight seasons.
Under Wulff, Eastern Washington made the Division I-AA playoffs three times, including a trip to the quarterfinals last year where they lost to perennial power Appalachian State.
The big question is how long will it take for Wulff to find similar success at the Division I-A level.