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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: Aug 11, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:09 am

Leach taking over at Washington State

I hope the Pirate kicks butt in the Northwest and also in the Courtroom against the ESPN mafia and against that no good piece of human filth, Craig James.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:07 am

Great choice

Funny how a couple of books come out telling what really happened at TTU and Michigan, and suddenly Leach and Rich Rod have very nice jobs again.  Can't wait for the every four years or so shootout between Arizona and WSU.  
Leach was railroaded at TTU, and the worst thing about it is that Craig James still has a job at tWWL.   Congrats to Mike Leach for a well-deserved coaching position.  The moral of the story: talent will eventually get a coach a decent coaching job, while the banal and dishonest will always have a place at tWWL.

Since: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:53 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Congrats great hire WSU. This should make the Pac 12 North alot more competitive in the future. I hope Craig James is PO'd with this move. The only thing that would make it better is to have Leach win his lawsuit. Leach is a quality innovative coach that will fit in well on the left coast.

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:47 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:46 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

The Pirate is baaaack!  The Pac 12 has some wide open offenses...but nothing like this.  If he gets just a little defense, they will create a major problem....quickly!

Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:33 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

There are so many Texas Tech fans here who are rooting for Leach to succeed as the new coach of WASH ST,bad sign for other PAC 12 schools!! Leach should have Wash ST ranked in the middle of the rankings at 20-10 his first year. Once he gets his recruiting class in place for the next season and the year afterward WASH ST should see their rankings lowered to being inside the top 10. Good luck Coach Leach on the next two or three seasons and I hope you take over there Pac 12 with Swashbuckling power!!!!  The PAC 12 needs someone like you to take over and then destroy the other weak PaC12 teams who are mediocre at best!  On top of his on field successes Leach has improved player graduation rates for the better and he does make sure his players walk away with a degree that was not soiled by allegations of student fraud, tutors taking test for the players or professors adjusting the grade to suit the players requierments !  An action which is a rarity these days in NCAAF!  THIS IS A GOD FIT FOR LEACH!!!

Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:06 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

This is such a great hire.  As a big Cougar fan, I am so excited.  With the new TV deal, the Cougars will be on all the time and will be fun to watch.  Great hire!

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:03 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

All the best to Wazzu, I know Leach is a great coach and motivator, too bad that spoiled brat got him fired.

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: November 30, 2011 10:48 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

As a Sooner fan Oregonian who was thrilled by 1 year with Leach running our offense in '99 that laid the groundwork for our '00 National title, I'm thrilled to have leach in the Pacific NW.  He'll have the Cougars back to Mike Price-like, Rose Bowl status within 5 years.

It will be a special day when the Cougar flag that flies at every ESPN's College GameDay, waves back and forth in the Pullman breeze.

Since: Dec 20, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 10:47 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Huge props to you sir! From a Coug Alum, with three Coug Alums.... Woof!

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