Has Coach Wulff Been Lifting?

So a lot was made about that ESPN/Pac10.org “photo flap”, you know, the one where the Pac-10 coaches were photographed in NYC?  The one where Wulff was cropped out of said photo?  This is what I’m talking about:

Then, later it was revealed that this picture was the original:

Yeah, he was cropped out.  I never did hear the official explanation, but it did happen.  And in case you were wondering, yes, coach Wulff was very aware of it, per his chat at WSUCougars.com last week.  While he didn’t like flip out or anything, judging by his answer you can tell he was, uh, less than thrilled about it?:

Chris (SEattle): Coach—There has been speculation that you were cropped out of a photo of all the Pac 10 coaches in NY on the front page of ESPN’s website, were you in that photo?

Paul Wulff: Chris, I’ve been asked that question before, and, yes, I was in the photo.

Anyway, photo flap aside, you know what stood out?  Maybe it’s just me, or it’s our own “Sutra” and myself who have noticed this, but coach Wulff?  He sure as hell looks like he’s been LIFTING, doesn’t he?  Check out some pics after the read more, and see if you agree.  Plus more links and stuff after the jump…..

First, here’s some shots from the last two years.

Now, we have to remember that Wulff was a Pac-10 athlete in his day, and even was in an NFL camp.  You don’t usually get to that level as an “endomorph”, you know what I mean?  But even in those pics, while not in terrible shape, still you can see some “softness” starting to settle in?  And the pic with the sweats, I don’t know but he totally looked like he was headed for that middle aged gym teacher look?

But that was then.  This is now:

It’s not hard to notice some differences.  Maybe he’ll never have that chiseled, greek-god-like physique, but something seems to have changed.  Maybe he’s been down in the weight room with his players, hopping on the bench and throwing around some iron?  Maybe he’s gone the P90-X route, where so many other celebs and others like that have been praising the effectiveness?  Whatever it is, it’s a very good thing for coach Wulff, and honestly, for the program.  Bear with me on this for a second.

See, when you don’t look or feel your best, you aren’t on top of “your game”.  It obviously varies from person to person, but when you feel good about your appearance, you generally have more self-confidence, and others can feed off of that.  ESPECIALLY when you are in a highly visable, leadership-type CEO position that is an NCAA head coaching gig.  Let’s face it, a huge part of this game is recruiting, and in recruiting you are not only selling the school and the education that comes with it, but you are also selling yourself.  If you look like a fit former NCAA football player, and you feel better, that will convey itself to the recruit and their family as you stand in their living room, trying to close the deal. 

Don’t think it matters?  Well, is there any doubt that some of those who are regarded as some of the best recruiting head coaches around also have a fit, healthy image?  Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, even Pete Carroll, they all gave off the healthy/fit/confident vibe.  Now think of some recent coaches who have failed, and think of the vibe they must have been giving off:

This isn’t to suggest that a “heavy” coach can’t succeed.  But in today’s day and age, the image you give off from the sideline or in the living room is all part of the sales process in recruiting.  While you have to have some personality to go with the appearance, still, a healthy looking coach can only help the message!  Whatever it is you are doing coach Wulff, please keep it up! 

On to the links:

That’s it for now.  Enjoy your morning, and as always, GO COUGS!