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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: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:38 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Have you heard of Sandusky? Kiffin? No way he is the biggest jerk offin college football. You are an idiot, he had a premadonna cry baby who ruined what TT had. Every fan at TT wishes he was still there. Go Cougs! Stoked!!

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:37 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Dam, I live on the East coast and will never get to see his games. I'll have to quit my job and stay up all night just to watch the Huskies now. I can’t wait for Chris James to broadcast one of their games. 

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:37 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Good Hire for Wash St!

I don't know the Coug culture but hopefully it's not all that PC there or Leach will be a delema - he's a real mid-western bottom line coach (pair of cousins played for him).   He doesn't tolerate ignorance either - he expects his players to use their heads, play with heart, and figure out how to win (brains over brawn).    The pirate thing is a little blown out of proportion, but I can tell you we'll probably see the cougs wear a lot more black with a little red and silver now!   ARRRRRR Matey's!

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:35 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Many Tech fans believed he should have sued them. No love lost in Lubbock for the James clan.

Since: Oct 9, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:32 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Brilliant hire. Why else would we be talking about Wash St if it wasn't for this hire?  

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:29 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Way to go Mike and Wash state. We sure miss him in the Big 12. He's good for college football.

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:22 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Coach Leach is extremely bright and inquisitive. He's thinking so much, sometimes his mouth can't keep up with his brain, but that's better than brain not keeping up with mouth. WSU is about to experience an exciting offense with no excuses about talent. And, he graduates players. I just wish he would have gone to a team on the east coast so we could see his teams play more. Time to subscribe to PAC-10 sports channel and stay up late. Go WSU! You guys might want to buy a pirate flag or two. 

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:21 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

I just hope for their sake they never have to discipline him for misbehavior.  He will sue them.

Since: May 10, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:16 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

He spent last spring with the team as a "consultant" under Wulff. He isnt walking in blind. He knows the players and his fingerprints are already on our offense.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:15 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Glad he landed somewhere.  Can't wait to see him back in action.

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