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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 11, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:16 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

I have been a WSU season ticket holder since Wullf started 4 years ago.  In his 1st season, I watched USC's kneel the ball at the 1 yard line before halftime because they were up 45-0 (his running backs were slower than their defensive tackles).  He took them from down right embarassing to competitive in most games by his 4th year.  He did more for the program than his 9 wins in 4 years would indicate.  For that I thank him.... With that said....I am so pumped to go to the first home game next year.  Based on his previous track record, Leach should bring a lot of excitement to Pullman and hopefully a lot of wins!  Go Cougs!!

Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:16 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Good hire by Washington State. I had a feeling this would be the year someone would give Leach a chance. The guy can make wave on a national level at Texas Tech and will do the same in the Pac 12. 

Since: Nov 6, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:13 pm

Leach taking over at Washington State

Great hire WSU - this will only make the PAC-12 stronger in the national standings. I'm a Washington Husky to the bone but give credit where credit is due. Leach is gonna make something of WSU in a quick way.......

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:05 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

How soon can Washington State get Texas Tech and Tuberville's vaunted "SEC style" defense on the schedule?
No kidding.  Tubberville isn't exactly knocking Lubbock's socks off...

Glad to see Leach land at a program he can build.  I may have to start paying much closer attention WSU.  I always liked Leach while he was in the Big XII. His offenses are always exciting and considering the hole that Lubbock is, he should be able to find athletes to fit his system that would love to come to Pullman.  Although I've never been to Pullman, I'd bet my next paycheck that it's a better locale than Lubbock.  

Congrats, Cougar fans.  This is a good hire for y'all.   

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:56 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Paul Wulff seemed like an excellent guy, and I actually thought he was turning the corner, and should have been given more time...  But I'm happy for my Eastern state brethren, as Mike Leach is a HELLUVA football coach...  It'll be nice to see both Washington programs get back to some prominence, and playing some hell with the rest of the Pac 12...

With any luck, we soon all get back to playing Apple Cups where the headlines aren't "Nothing to Play For But Pride for Dawgs & Cougs".

Go Cougs, from a Dawg fan.

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:47 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

I agree. Gerald myers and the regents who did this to leach should have to play soap ball in the shower with sandusky!
Guns up Always

Since: Jun 18, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:45 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Definitely like to see Leach get another shot.  No conflict of interest with ESPN?  Eh.. who cares anyway.  I only wish it was the Huskies.  Love the celebration in that stadium when they score with the sirens.  I'll be looking forward to a little change of the guard on the east coast within the next two years.  Good move.

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:36 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

First things first.... East coast guys Washington St. is the Cougars not the Huskies. That is like saying Florida is the seminoles...

I would also like to thank Paul Wulff for his effort in trying to rebuild a dead program. It was all but lose lose when he took it over. Also, Bill Moos is a genius!!! Finally an AD who is willing to do what it takes to win!

Finally the cougar nation is going to see a coach who brings credibility and excitement to the Palouse! I can't wait for the Apple Cup in 2012.


Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:32 pm

Leach to be next Washington State coach

Good for Mike Leach... now if we could come up with a way to force the firing of our idiot Board of Regents and Chancellor at Texas Tech. Congratulations to the Washington State fans and get ready to watch the most exciting Offense in College Football in Pullman! 

Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:31 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.

Such confusion isn't a compliment to those of us who are purple Dawg fans, either.  *LOL*  BARK for SARK... WOOF, WOOF!!  Smile

Leach should obviously be expected to bring speedy improvement to the Cougs.  Perhaps surprising to some, I welcome that as a Dawgs fan - the "Sark vs. Leach" battles in the upcoming years should be fun to watch, and having Leach coaching in the conference will surely make it stronger overall, to boot.

Leach has proven that he's one of the premier offensive-minded coaches in the country.  'Congrats' to Wazzu for making what should prove to be an exceptionally good hire!!

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