Blog Entry

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Posted on: February 17, 2009 9:59 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2009 10:00 pm

They're going to fire Mike Leach.

At least it sounds that way after the cryptic statement released by Texas Tech AD Gerald Myers on Tuesday. Leach let pass a 6 p.m. ET deadline set by the school to sign a lucrative extension.

So now what?

"We will enter the decision-making process and should have some announcements by next week," Myers said in the statement. "Our decisions will be based on the best interest of Texas Tech and all of its supporters."

Decision-making process? What's left to decide? Myers himself said that Leach either signed the contract or that it would be pulled off the table and the coach would serve out his current deal through 2010. The only decision left to be made, it seems, is to keep Leach as coach.

The school and coach are now backed into a corner. Texas Tech can't keep a coach who 1) doesn't want to be there and 2) can't recruit if he did somehow stay.

The only resolution might be for both parties to start over.

Even if Leach decides to keep coaching going under his current deal, the school can't allow it. It can't allow the program to be run into the ground by a disgruntled coach looking for his next job. Let's not forget, in terms of staying power, Tech is closer to Big 12 South bottom feeders Baylor and Texas A&M than it is Texas and Oklahoma.

There already is a special Tech regents teleconference called for Friday, "including but not limited to the position of the football head coach." That doesn't sound like the regents are ready to discuss spring practice.

That's what is so stupid about this thing. The two sides have agreed to the money -- $12. 7 million over five years. The hang-up is basically over a buyout/termination clause. There has to be a number in the middle that both sides can agreed on. It isn't that hard, fellas.

This is a heck of a bluff to call on both sides. Leach has been unable to go elsewhere while employed at Texas Tech. It isn't because of his winning percentage. The Pirate was too crusty around the edges for Washington, Tennessee, Auburn and Miami, all jobs he coveted the past two seasons.  It may be that Lubbock is the only place in the country that tolerated Leach's shtick.

Some of that support is starting to wane. The only thing worse than being undesirable is being undesirable without a job. If he is fired, let's see how many offers Leach gets in February. All the jobs are filled. Let's say he sits out a year and comes back in 2010. He will be damaged goods and the short list of possible openings doesn't seem to fit: Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia and Indiana.

Notre Dame: Please. The first tie Leach wears will be his first. (not counting clip-ons)

Louisville: AD Tom Jurich is about done hiring coaches with a wandering eye.

Virginia: See Notre Dame.

Indiana:  Bob Knight went to Tech for his rebound job. Leach to Indiana for his rebound job? Ain't happening.

Mike Leach will be able to get a job, just nothing on a par with Tech, a competitive program in a power conference that can afford to pay him $2.5 million per year.

Unless the sides -- Leach, his agents and the school -- can hammer out a deal soon, this situation has gone beyond the point of repair. There are too many egos, too much money at stake for everyone to walk away.

That includes Myers who will come out of this looking bad no matter what happens. He let it get to this point by not locking up Leach during the season. Even if a deal is struck, he is responsible for making Tech look like backward bumpkins.  Texas Tech has failed to realize that it is Texas Tech. Leach could be that once-in-a-lifetime coach for a program that hadn't done much before him.

There is no middle ground. Either a deal gets done, soon, or Leach is fired. Shortly after, Myers might follow him out the door.





Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2009 1:50 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

I agree bombero...What does the NFL have to do with this article at all...From what I have heard(ESPN and Sporting News) it doesnt seem to be the amount of money...a lot to you and is some of the "other" clauses like...if he goes out on a speaking engagement the money he makes belongs to Texas Tech? Is this the norm? There is also another proviso about what % of his salary he would get if he talks to other schools about a is very restrictive so I wonder if those are the sticking points for Mike Leach not the 12+ mil. I think he has done a lot for the program. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas and I can tell you growing up it was all about Texas and Texas A&M...dont even recall hearing about TT at all. The game between TT and Texas was incredibly exciting. Certainly he probably wont be able to generate that kind of excitement year after year but to have athletes like he had on his team was amazing in and of itself. No one purposely goes to Lubbock especially when you have teams like Texas with their zillion students and athletes who sign on to the team before the season even begins. So, let's be fair maybe he isnt a great coach yet but I think he has the makings of one. The biggest rub I have seen on him is his arrogant personality. I know he is a lawyer too so that should probably be obvious...arrogance and lawyers go hand in hand. I live in Tennessee now and the reports from Knoxville before they hired Lane Kiffin, about Mike was his personality just would not fit in in Knoxville. It remains to be seen whether Baby Boy Kiffin's will but at least he is a likable guy. Mike comes across as a charm school dropout. I should know because I am a ND fan and Charlie Weis has the same stoic personality. Okay personalities dont win games but they certainly impact how the players relate to the coach...I cant stand USC but kudos to Pete Carroll...he wins and he is a players coach. We all have to wonder why Mike was not the numero uno candidate for any of the coaching vacancies. After all, no offense to people who live there, but who wouldnt want to get out of Lubbock? I agree with the article...TT and Mike Leach have backed themselves in a corner...worst possible time to be coach shopping.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2009 1:08 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

There's no question that Mike Leach will land another high-profile head coaching job if he leaves Texas Tech.

Geral Myers, however, will have a hard time landing a job as dog catcher after the way he screwed up.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 1:07 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Bigdog... While you may be older than me and a few others you are in no way more qualified to speak on this than the rest of us. I think most will agree he's a good coach, but I'll contend he's not great. Greatness to most people is Hall of Fame worthy. Is he? As of now, no (and it should be mentioned he doesn't seem destined to go there if you look at what he's done). Is Meyer? Certainly headed that way. Is Whittingham at Utah? If he keeps up his recent success probably. Is Stoops or Brown? They seem to have a good shot. Carroll? I'd say yes. Your biggest problems are: 1) You think because you are older you are wiser (not neccessarily true), 2) You have been around "greatness" for a long time (Bo Schembeckler (sp?) and Woody Hayes are most assuredly great coaches) so your view on it is probably skewed, and 3) Your definition of greatness is awful. Greatness is something that will be remembered a long time from now. People will remember Hayes and his OSU teams, Schembeckler and his UM teams, Carroll and his dominant run the last 8 years, Bowden and FSU's 14 straight top 5 finishes (1988-2002 I think), and Meyer's rebuilding of three different programs and making one into a dominant team (BGSU was horrible but he made them competitive in two years, he turned a lowly Utah team into the first BCS buster and his influence still remains there (Whittingham was his protege and still runs the same system Meyer put in place there), and took a once powerful team and took them to the top two times in 4 years.) That is greatness. List me something Leach will be remembered for? Taking a crappy team in the most talent rich state in the union and putting them in the top 20 a few times? That's hardly great.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 12:36 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Sort of ironic when you think of it. They want him because he's a good coach. Others want him for the success he's having there. That's why he's in demand and because he's in demand they want to keep him from interviewing with other teams. So basically they can fire him because he's in demand and he knows it. And he's in demand because he's a good coach. He wouldn't be in demand if he sucked as a coach. They would be stupid to fire him. Where were they before he was the coach there? The nature of the beast. With success comes the other job offers. 

Since: Jan 11, 2009
Posted on: February 18, 2009 12:32 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Good article Dodd.  I agree with you on your points. 

Some people are unrealistic when it comes to compensation by equating it to how many NC's that a coach has won or even championships in its own conference.

A good coach is a good coach and a good coach will take the least and develop the program or team into a winner.

Mike Leach seems to have found his niche at Tech.  He deserves the money and I hope they get it worked out.

Change for changes sake is someone searching for Fool's Gold IMO.

Obviously, Leach is a character , which adds a little spice to the college football landscape.

Which I like.  

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 12:24 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Obviously some of you guys are too young to remember what Tech was, which means you are unqualified to speak on this issue.

Tech was a they are a perennial top 20 team.

Who expected Tech to compete with the likes of a Texas and an Oklahoma?! You guys are talking like Leach should have Tech beating those teams year in and year out (and they usually do beat one a year). Those schools aren't anywhere near the same playing field that Tech is on.

And to the guy who said something about their NFL status.....who cares about NFL status? He's a college coach....not an NFL coach.

And on top of that....we always cry about coaches not getting players to graduate but Leach has these kids graduating at one of the, if not the, highest rate in D1. Amazing.

Some of you fools think to be a great coach you have to be at one of the top programs like a UF, OSU, USC, Texas, OU, etc. Great coaches are everywhere and some of the best coaches in the land are now at TCU, TTU, Utah, etc.

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 11:50 am

Pay the man!!

How often is TT able to beat Texas? Pay the man. This is ridiculous. TT paid Bobby Knight but offered Leach a low-ball offer. I know the economy is bad right now but Leach has to fight for his due. He has earned the title of one of the nation's highest paid coaches.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 11:31 am

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Flagman... I'm normally not on board with your comments, but I agree about Leach not being a great coach. A good one? Sure. But to call a guy a great coach when he can't win his own division once is pretty lofty. I put him in the same league as June Jones (former Hawaii coach who put Colt Brennan on the map and is now the coach of an awful SMU team which he has not improved) or Dan Hawkins (went from Boise State, who he built into a powerhouse to Colorado, which he has not improved much, even with the resources he was given). And I bet that if Leach is fired and goes to another job, mediocrity will follow him like it did Hawkins and Jones.

And to the OU guy who blasted Flagman... would you put Leach in the same category as Stoops, Brown, Meyer, Carroll or Saban? Those are great coaches. Leach is not. I think you'll agree with that.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 10:36 am

Mike Leach's job in danger?


Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 10:05 am

Mike Leach's job in danger?

What exactly does the NFL prospects that may or may not come from Tech have to do with Mike Leach as a COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH? This is an article on THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PROGRAM AT TEXAS TECH, who care's who plays in the NFL. He has been brilliant with the talent he has been able to recruit, hopefully Tech will squash this before something terrible happens and I have to start rooting for Texas. (sick to my stomach)

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