Blog Entry

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
Comments

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 6:10 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

How do you reach that conclusion?  Because one spoiled brat and the black-hawk said so?  Get real, Leach might have had it in for James, but I could just imagine coaching a kid at a Texas school whose father is that guy.  Leach is respected by most and I have no doubt player safety won't be a concern
Because his former medical staff backed up the story is how I reach the obvious conclsuion.  Maybe James is a cry baby, but he was definitely placed in the equipment closet because he wouldn't play with a concussion.  That is fact.



Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Look for Leach to have Washington State relevant in short order, and the offense sure will be fun to watch.  As a Missouri fan, you always knew on defense playing Texas Tech when he was there that you'd likely have to defend 4 downs -- because Leach sure doesn't like to punt.  Good for the Cougars!  As a side note, hahahahahahaha at Kansas thinking they had a shot!



Since: Oct 25, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 6:02 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

 I'll have to quit my job and stay up all night just to watch the Huskies now.

Don't insult those of us that bleed purple and gold. WSU is the COUGARS. Don't worry, you won't have to stay up late because they usually play at 12:30 local time. Only good teams get the national and prime time games.  



Since: Jul 20, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 6:02 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Hard to imagine him not winning at least 8 games a year once he gets some players. The 12 Pac conference isn't exactly loaded with great defenses. Good to have him back in college football. His teams were fun to watch and fun to bet on.



Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

JAcob KAram jsut left Tech. This is leaches last Red Shirt freshman. I look for him to be your starter year after next. Hes going with the cap'n baby.



Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:57 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

As a RED RAIDER I am very happy for you Mr. Leach. SWING YOUR SWORD!!! Craig james, Adam James and ES PN can go straight to He!l I will just be in TEXAS. The football gods finally avenged the Captain. My new 2nd favorite team WSU Go COOGS! Send leach back to TT when your done with him. WE still Believe. ARRRR



Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

How do you reach that conclusion?  Because one spoiled brat and the black-hawk said so?  Get real, Leach might have had it in for James, but I could just imagine coaching a kid at a Texas school whose father is that guy.  Leach is respected by most and I have no doubt player safety won't be a concern.



Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Will be particularly bad for students that don't want to go to class or graduate. 



Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:47 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Good news for Washington State if Ws is the only concern.  Player health will take a turn for the worse however. Good for boosters, bad for players and medical staff.  No such thing as a free lunch I guess.



Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:40 pm
 

Leach to be next Washington State coach

as a long time coug fan livin in spokane, this is a great hire, we have a long history of great qbs going here jack thompson , rypien, blesdoe and yes leaf too. we got a freshman qb ready to go for him, hey oregon is blowin up right now we needed some high octane offesive minded guy to keep up with the ducks in the pac-12 north leach fits the bill


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com