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

Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:05 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Awesome news. I'm ordering a WSU hat tonight to celebrate. The good ship Pirate set sails again. Just wish football season started sooner.

Since: Nov 12, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:04 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Yeah. Smart to snatch up Leach quickly, good work WAZZU.
Best luck to my Cougars.
Also, thumbs up to the classy UW Husky fans on here for their positive comments.
Best wishes to all.

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:55 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

So glad to hear Leach is gettign another chance to show off his brilliance after the crap that ESPN, Craig James and TTU pulled.  I'm guessing WSU will be in a bowl next year and have an outside shot at the PAC12 title the next.  It's safe to say WSU is relevant again.

Since: May 3, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:51 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

This is a great hire for WSU.  I along with about 30% of the fans here in Tempe were hoping that he would be coaching the Sun Devils next year.  Fortunately for us WSU is in the Pac 12 North.

Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:46 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

little ducky boy, your a jerk, typical zero

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:40 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

WOW!  What a hire for WSU!  I personally think he's one of the best coaches out there.  The SEC can kiss my ass because the next decade will be all about the Pac-12.  Rich Rod, Leach, UCLA (will be a big hire), ASU (will be a big hire).  I'm a die hard Husky fan and was actually hoping we would get Leach 3 years ago.  He's a great coach and WSU will be a contender very soon.  Mark my words:  In 3 years, the winner of the Apple Cup goes to the Pac-12 Championship, wins the Pac-12 Championship and plays for the BCS Championship and WINS!  OK...maybe I'm dreaming but you never know.  GO HUSKIES but for now...congrats Cougs.  I must say I'm a little jealous.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:33 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Thisis an excellent hire by Wazzu.  With 14 offensive players and 17 defensive players on the two deep rosters returning next season, a soft non-con schedule that includes Eastern Washington and a trip to UNLV, 5 home conference games, and no USC on the schedule, Leach has a legitimate shot at winning 6 games and becoming bowl eligable in his first season.  Leach will also help Wazzu's recruiting.  With USC, Oregon, and Stanford always in the Top 20 of the recruiting wars, Wazzu needs all the help they can get.  On top of all of this, by hiring Leach immediately, Wazzu keeps him away from Arizona State and UCLA.  Now both Arizona State and UCLA are going to have to screamble to find new head coaches.  Meyer, RichRod, and now Leach are all taken.  Finding a "name" head coach who can recruit just got a lot more difficlut for those two teams.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:29 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Snooze ya lose, KU...bah!

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:23 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

I still see WSU coming in 3rd behind the Ducks and the Cardinal...but they should win 8-9 games next year with the South still looking like a mess and the North (other than the Ducks and Cardinal) less then good. Either way, good hire for WSU and the Pac-12! I hope the rest of the hires are as splashy as RichRod and Leach.

Since: Nov 2, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:18 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Leach is back in the game!!!! Give him only a short time, and he will turn the cougars into PAC12 contenders. He is the best at playing to the strengths of what he has. When you can't recruit with Texas, Oklahoma, and now USC and UCLA you need a some what of a gimmick to make your smaller slower athletes have a competitive edge. Leach knows how to do that, and he will make these guys into winners. Tech and the Board of Regents will never find a gem like Leach again. What a bunch of dumbasses for letting him get away.

How in the world can Tubberville break an SEC style game to Tech. They will never be able to recruit the kind of personell needed to make that happen. Every now and then they get a Wes Welker or a Micheal Crabtree, but SEC schools get those kind of guys every year, and not just one. Tubberville needed a job, and Tech was the sucker.

My money is on Leach to be the come back story of the year for 2013.

The PAC 12 should fear the never know what he will do next. 

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