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Leach taking over at Washington State

Posted on: November 30, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 8:08 pm
    As we first reported, Mike Leach is taking over as the head coach at Washington State. Leach, who was offered the position late Tuesday afternoon, agreed to a five-year contract. Leach will travel to Washington on Monday and be introduced at a press conference Tuesday, Dec. 6 at noon in Pullman.

"This is an exciting day for Washington State University and Cougar football," said Washington State athletic director Bill Moos. "I have spoken about the need to re-energize our fan base and take Cougar football to the next level. I believe the hiring of Mike Leach accomplishes both of those goals. His credentials speak for themselves." 
The 50-year-old Leach replaces Paul Wulff, who was dismissed Tuesday morning.  The hiring of Leach would seem to mesh with  Moos' comment earlier at the press conference where he announced Wullf's firing that he likes a "flashy, high-octane offense that lights up the scoreboard."

"First off I would like to express my appreciation to Paul Wulff for all his efforts and dedication to Washington State and wish him the best in the future," said Leach. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to work with Bill Moos, who is a legend in this business. To have the opportunity as a coach to work with someone like that is an experience few head coaches get. Along with Bill and Dr. Floyd, I'm excited about being a part of the future of Washington State.

"I have always admired the tradition of Washington State. It's a university on the move that is experiencing growth. I'm excited about what they are doing with the facilities and it's a team that has battled through some hard times and shows great promise in the future. I'm proud to be a part of this team."

Wulff was 9-40 in four seasons at Washington State and just 4-32 in league play. The Cougars program has struggled for much of the past decade. Washington State hasn't been to a bowl game in eight years. But prior to this stretch, there had been quite a bit of success, with two Rose Bowl appearances and four Top 10 finishes between the 1997 and 2003 seasons.
Under Wulff, a former Washington State offensive lineman, the Cougars did make strides in the past two years. They were 4-8 this season while being hit hard by injury. Still, the Cougars lost seven of their final eight games. They had to play three different quarterbacks, losing starter Jeff Tuel for much of the season. They ranked 48th in the country in scoring, but just seventh in the Pac-12. In 2010, the Cougars were 106th in scoring and dead last in the Pac-12. Most of the talent Wulff had assembled will be back in 2012, including Tuel and standout wide receiver Marquess Wilson. Both figure to be good fits in Leach's Air-Raid system.

In his 10 seasons at Texas Tech, Leach had a career record of 84-43 and was the architect of some of the most prolific offenses in college football history. Eight times in those 10 seasons, one of his quarterbacks led the nation in passing. The year before Leach arrived in Lubbock, the Red Raiders averaged 23 points per game. By Leach's second season, they averaged over 35 ppg and they never averaged less than 33 points the rest of his decade running the program. The Red Raiders finished in the top 25 rankings in five of his last six seasons at Tech.

His teams had Top 10 wins over No. 4 Cal (2004); No. 3 Oklahoma (2007); No. 1 Texas (2008) and No. 8 Oklahoma State (2008). In 2008, he won national Coach of the Year honors. The Wyoming native was the only coach in Texas Tech history to lead his team to bowl games every year.

At Texas Tech, Leach also inherited a program that had one of the lowest graduation rates in college football and was on academic probation. He eventually turned it into one that had the highest graduation rate of any public institution in major college football. However, he was fired from Tech in December, 2009 regular season after allegations that he had mistreated a player, Adam James, the son of ESPN announcer Craig James.

The controversy led to Leach to sue Texas Tech for breach of contract and file suit against ESPN and James for defamation. Both cases are still unresolved.

Full disclosure: I co-authored Leach's 2011 book Swing Your Sword, which details, among other things, his path into coaching, his offensive system as well as the circumstances surrounding what happened with him and Texas Tech in his exit from the Big 12 school.
Category: NCAAF

Since: Feb 18, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 8:31 am

Leach taking over at Washington State

Good hire for Wash State.

Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:43 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Good for Mike. I've been hoping he'd end up somewhere. I didn't believe that exaggerated story. He just had one disgruntled parent that just happened to be a figure head at ESPN, who could not accept the fact his son was not as good as he was as a player. But he gave Texas Tech some of their best years. Granted Leach is unorthodox in his methods, but he could potentially make Washington State into a powerhouse of the PAC 12. Only time will tell for sure.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:57 am

Leach taking over at Washington State

Ken -

Give it rest  - you and the board fuc up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:55 am

Leach taking over at Washington State

Come On Ken-

You know you and the board set up ole MIKE- now you have to live with a dying football program 

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2011 11:36 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

This is the best news I've heard since Hance and all his cronies were sacrificed to the Football Gods on the 50-yard line @ Jones Stadium! What?! That was just a joke?? damn... Well... still the best news I've heard today!  Good luck Coach Leach!  We sure do miss you in the LBK... and big gratz to you Cougar fans!

Since: Apr 16, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2011 6:08 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

I think that this was a great move by the Wash.State Cougars..Darn shame that the Tarheels didn't make Coach Leach any offer..It will be exciting to see his high powered offense again whenever I will get the chance since I am on the East Coast..The powers to be wanted to make a statement and that they did..Given time Coach Leach should have that program back on the upswing real soon..

Since: Sep 19, 2009
Posted on: December 1, 2011 3:36 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Leach being fired from Tech seems to me to be a case of Little League parent gone wild. I've listened to his radio show almost everyday since it's been on and I like the guy. One thing is for sure WSU is in for a change for the better in the very near future.

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 2:51 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Adam James was a 3rd string reciever. Leach could have cared less if James practiced. Where do you get that he tried to make him play with a concussion. That was the spin that Dad tried to put on it, it just wasn't the case.

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 2:43 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

It is not a FACT, no one wanted James to play with a concussion. He was 3rd team at best. He was cutting up and being a distraction at practice, so Leach asked them to take him somewhere else. Where do you think that you got this FACT...... What motivation was there for Leach to want him to pratice? He rarely saw the field, so his not practicing was not the issue.

Since: Dec 20, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2011 2:16 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

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