SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -Bill Doba said Monday he will not return as football coach at Washington State after a 5-7 season in which the team missed going to a bowl game for a fourth consecutive year.
In a mutual decision, Doba and Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk said Doba decided during a Monday morning meeting that he would step down.
Doba, 67, blamed widespread speculation that he would be fired for damaging his ability to recruit, and said he wanted to take a break after four decades of coaching.
``I felt with all the negative press and Internet, and all the rumors, it was difficult, and with my age, to go out and recruit,'' Doba said during an emotional news teleconference from Pullman. ``I have no regrets and no animosity.''
Doba will not return despite the emotional 42-35 weekend win over archrival Washington that gave him a 3-2 record against the Cougars' cross-state rivals from Seattle.
Doba had a 30-29 record in five seasons at Washington State, which is based in Pullman. He is one of only a handful of coaches to have a winning career record at the Pacific 10 Conference school.
He had been on the hot seat all season, after the Cougars lost their final three games in 2006 to finish 6-6 and miss out on going to a bowl game.
The Cougars lost four games by at least four touchdowns this season - against Southern Cal, Arizona, Oregon and Oregon State.
Doba did not become a head coach until the age of 62, when he replaced Mike Price.
Only a few WSU coaches own a winning record while coaching at least five seasons, led by O.E. Hollingbery (93-53 from 1926-1942) and Price (83-78 from 1989-2002).
Doba's best season was his first, when the Cougars were 10-3 in 2003 and beat Texas in the Holiday Bowl.
The following years the Cougars were 5-6, 4-7, 6-6 and 5-7. He was 17-25 in Pacific-10 games.
His 2006 team was 6-3 and ranked 25th, but lost its final three games to miss a bowl.
Doba came to WSU in 1989 as linebackers coach when Price succeeded Dennis Erickson as head coach. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1994.
Price accepted the head job at Alabama after the Cougars qualified for the Rose Bowl in the 2002 season, and Price and Doba coached together in that game.
Doba's wife, Judy, died in April 2006, after a four-year bout with ovarian cancer.
Doba is an Indiana native who was a longtime high school coach, then was an assistant at Indiana under Lee Corso, Purdue under Leon Burtnett, and The Citadel under Charlie Taaffe before coming to WSU.

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