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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
Comments

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:42 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

This is a good hire for Wash. U.  Their record will continue to improve until they are serious contenders for the PAC-12 and possibly a top 10 ranking.  Leach is an intense coach but brings a style to his teams where players want to play for him.



Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:33 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

Glad the Pac 12 is bent on getting innovative coaches (if controversial) ie. Leach & RichRod. Sounds like Mike will be an excellent fit at WSU if that's their intention...a flashy offense (who better than Leach?).
He's also proven in can recruit into a less traditional football school...which he's gonna need to up there in Pullman.  Good luck, Mike...we want to see the basement teams become competitive for the sake of the conference.



Since: Feb 24, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:31 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

Very happy for Coach Leach. Washington State just got them a winner for a coach. I wish Leach and Washington State all the luck in the world. I wish he was still at Texas Tech.



Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:18 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

Congrats to Coach Leach.  I had hoped he would select a different school (ASU or Penn State perhaps).... But I will find myself watching more PAC games with him in the mix!



Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:17 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

Thank you for your kind words! I Graduated from WSU back in 1998 when we went to the Rose Bowl. Those were good times. However, things have changed and now I'm tired of being laughed at when I were my WSU clothing and hang my flag on gameday. I live in the Atlanta, GA. area and stick out like a 'sore thumb' with all the SEC and ACC fans in my neighborhood. We seem to be the 'butt' of every joke.

If what you're telling me is true...I feel that there is hope now and feel excited about being a 'COUG' again!

I also hope that OSU continues to do well and perhaps we will meet in a Championship game down the road.

-Dave





Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:59 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

I was hoping he would go to ASU.



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:50 am
 

Free the Pirate...

Not only did Bruce escape from the evil clutches of tWWL, but the Pirate escaped from the biggest brig of all: the coaching blacklist.  Justice has finally been served in both cases.  It's amazing how the power of having one's story told can affect hiring decisions on both sides of the fence.  



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2011 7:59 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

WSU just hired a WINNER! They will compete for a PAC 12 title within 3 years. Still gonna root for my Red Raiders but will keep a close eye on the Coogs...



Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2011 7:56 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

Great for Leach! Craig James is a idiot and his son Adam is a Liar!



Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 4:16 am
 

Leach taking over at Washington State

The biggest bowls. One more thing about the BCS in general, if a team has four losses they should be passed up for a team that has played better football. Conneticut last year, was an afront to anyone who wanted a good football game.


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