Mike Price guided Washington State University to their third 10-win season in 6 years in 2002. The team compiled a 10-2 record and will go to the Rose Bowl.
He earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 2001 and was one of three finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Despite being picked to finish last in the conference, Price steered WSU into a tie for second, landing 19 players on the All-Pac-10 list and 14 players on the all-academic team.
In 1997 Price guided the Cougars to their most successful gridiron season in 67 years. Washington State finished that year 10-1 and captured a share of the Pac-10 Title. They were defeated in the Rose Bowl by Michigan 21-16. The Rose Bowl appearance was the team's first since 1931.
Price had a long history at Washington State were he served as a graduate assistant in the late '60's. Price says an accident, which killed a member of his freshman team, got him to thinking about his relationship with his players. "I never told that player how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. I decided then to make sure my players know how much I care for them."
Price has had an open door policy ever since.
Price says he enjoys "finding players others have not recruited."
Price, compiled an 83-77 record at Washington State. His overall coaching record is 129-121.
Price tutored quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf. He has taken his team to four bowl games - the 1992 Copper Bowl, the 1994 Alamo Bowl, the 1998 Rose Bowl, and the 2001 Sun Bowl. If he coaches the Cougars in the Rose Bowl, that will be his fifth bowl game with the team.
Price does have an Alabama connection, besides his friendship with Tide Athletic Director Mal Moore. In 1993 Price was the offensive head coach for the North team in the annual Kelly Tires Bule-Gray All-Star Football Classic in Montgomery.
After taking over at Washington State in 1989, Price guided the Cougars to a 6-5 finish and was tabbed by The Sporting News as the Pac-10's coach of the year. The Cougars then suffered through a plague of injuries for two years before jumping back into the bowl picture in 1992 with a win over Utah in the Copper Bowl in Tucson.
Price came to Washington state after resurrecting a struggling Weber State program in 1981 that had not produced a winning record in 10 years. In his first season the Wildcats finished 7-4 after losing to eventual national NCAA I-AA champion Idaho State in triple overtime.
In 1987 Price, who had a 46-44 record at Weber State, guided the Big Sky Conference team to a 10-3 record and into the quarterfinals of the NCAA playoffs. WSC finished the conference season 7-1 to tie for the Big Sky title. The overall record, 9-2 regular season mark Big Sky finish all were record-setting marks at WSC.
Price is a 1964 graduate of Everett High School in Everett, Washington. He attended Everett Junior College for one year, then played for two seasons at Washington State under head coach Bert Clark. A redshirt quarterback his first season with the Cougars, Price moved to the secondary his second year. The Cougar head coach finished his collegiate career at the University of Puget Sound, where he played two years, 1967 and 1968, and captained the Loggers as a senior before graduating in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.
Price served two coaching stints with the Cougars, the first as a graduate assistant for head coach Jim Sweeney, 1969-70. After receiving his Master's degree from WSU, he served as offensive coordinator for three years at UPS, 1971-73. In 1974, Price returned to Sweeney's staff as backfield coach.
When Jackie Sherrill took over the Cougar program in 1976, Price remained on the staff. A year later when Warren Powers was named head coach, Powers picked Price as his recruiting coordinator and running back coach.
During this stint with the Cougars he coached Heisman Trophy candidate Jack Thompson and running back Dan Doornink. Both players went on to play in the National Football League, Thompson a quarterback with Cincinnati and Tampa Bay and Doornink with the New York Giants and Seattle.
In 1976 under Sherrill, the Cougars led the nation in passing offense. Price then joined Powers in his 1978 move to Missouri, serving there for three years as quarterback and receiver coach. The Tigers played in bowl games each of the three seasons Price was at the school.
In 1978 they won the Liberty Bowl and a year later they captured the Hall of Fame Bowl. They also played in the 1980 Liberty Bowl. The Price family, includes Mike and wife Joyce, and grown sons Eric and Aaron and daughter Angie.