'Don't get too high, don't get too low': Paul Wulff's approach to life and football

paul wulff practice.jpg
Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 16, 2023

The 2023 Cal Poly football season kicks off their first game Sept. 2 as new head coach Paul Wulff leads his team into hopefully a brighter future for the program. In order to do that, they have to learn from their past experiences, something that their coach knows about all too well.

In his coaching career, he’s experienced the highest of highs. In 2004 and 2005 he was head coach of Eastern Washington University, winning the Big Sky Conference and the Big Sky Coach of the Year in those same years as well as 2001. But he’s also experienced the lowest of lows when at the helm of Washington State compiled a 9-40 record over four seasons.

“We all go through our life and we have ups and downs," Wulff said in a one-on-one interview with KSBY Sports. "There's personal experiences we all go through in life and they really kind of set the tone for your character and who you are and your beliefs moving forward.”

That same message is the one that he tries to relay and instill with this year’s Cal Poly team who have experienced their own on the field woes the past few seasons with injuries and a losing record.

“I tell the players all the time, don't get too high, don't get too low. There's going to be those days that can really set you off one way or another. Just be careful. You don't want to get emotionally hijacked from a situation.”

Off the field, Wulff has suffered personal loss. In 2021, after 41 years of wondering, the remains of his mother Dolores Wulff were found after she disappeared in July of 1979 putting an emotional close to over four decades of questions. Then in 2002, Wulff’s first wife Tammy passed away from brain cancer. Though painful in whatever way you look at it, Wulff decides to see the light and positive side of it all each and every day.

“ I've had some really little things personally, but also some beautiful things," Wulff admitted. "I met my second wife and we had beautiful children that are doing absolutely well. There's those ultimate highs like that. Obviously there are some personal lows you go through that shape who you are and your character. I appreciate more things now and just like with this job, I appreciate this job. I appreciate these players, this school and what it represents.”

The team has many question marks to go along with internally high expectations but the focus right now isn’t only the win-loss column, it’s about being physical.

“We want to tackle physical. We want to play the game physical. I told the team this that in the last few years, we felt everybody that we've played. It's time for us to have those people feel us on game day.”

The Mustangs open up their 2023 season Sept. 2 at home against the University of San Diego.