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: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 9:54 am

Mike Leach's job in danger?


I was waiting for someone to bring that up. You didn't read.

 I said Texas Tech is closer to A&M and Baylor than they are Texas and Oklahoma. It's hard for anyone to dispute that. They're also "competitive" -- though not dominant -- in perhaps the nation's toughest division.



Since: Nov 15, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 9:23 am

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Makes you wonder if Mike Leach could have gotten Tech over the Big 12 hump (Texas and Oklahoma in the same season),won the South and appeared in a conference title game if his extension would be unfolding this way.   I think Mike Leach has done some great things at Tech but until he wins his own division, is it fair to call him a "great coach"?  They've never been to a BCS bowl in his tenure and I'm not sure what is bowl record is.  His offense has been labeled a "gimmick offense" that does not perform well against good defenses.  Yeah, they beat Texas last year but what kind of consistency does his offense display against better defenses? 

All in all, I'm not sure he is a "great coach" yet.  But the administration at Texas Tech needs to get off their high horse and resign the guy because he's the best thing that's happened to Texas Tech football.  If they let Leach go, not only will they struggle to find a quality replacement, but they will struggle even more to convince those coverted in state recruits to choose Lubbuck over Austin and College Station.

Since: May 24, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2009 7:50 am

Mike Leach's job in danger?

The money part has been agreed upon, it the firing/buyout provision that's far apart. TT and Leach had 2 years to iron out the differences. No need for the threatrics, posturing, or deadlines.


Who does TT have lined up to be a replacement at this late date? You have a winning coach in Leach and HS talent interested in the program and attending the school, so why mess that up? Recruits will just look at TT as a joke if Leach somehow gets fired in the next week or 2. Mike Leach isn't a campaigner like Mack Brown, who can get money rolling in at a meet-and-greet or on the golf course with boosters/supporters and corporate types. So Leach has his shortcomings.

Since: Jan 5, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2009 12:44 am

Mike Leach's job in danger?

I agree that Leach is not a great 'head' coach... just a great crowd pleaser.  He says what he thinks are funny, quirky comments...then goes and hides.  He is an offensive coordinator.  That's it.  A mediocre head coach.

I don't know the answer, but how many of Tech's QBs make a living (even in a backup role) in the NFL?  Even the greatness that is G Harrell is not expected to go high in the draft... probably going in rounds 2-3.  Crabtree will flourish based on his own talents, not because of anything Leach instilled in him.

If you want the fans excited for a 'character coach', sign Leach for a few more years.  If you want a championship, retain him as offensive coordinator (not going to happen), and hire a coach that will respect his employer and become the face of a proud university, not a sideshow.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2009 11:57 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Not to mention....Leach was the guy behind Oklahoma's offense in 2000 when they won the national title. 

To say that Leach is not a great coach is borderline retarded.

He has taken what used to be a joke of a program and beaten Texas last year and Oklahoma 2 out of the last 4 years, and he has done all of this with the leftovers as far as recruiting goes. Imagine what he will do when he gets on board with a school with more tradition and a bigger budget.

The only thing left for leach to do now is to come up with a big time road win.  He has not beaten Oklahoma at Oklahoma and as far as I know, he hasnt beaten Texas at Texas when it mattered. Tech would also do well to schedule a decent out of conference team here and there.

Bottom Line:  If Tech fires Leach A) he wont be out of work for long and B) they will regret that decision pretty much instantaneously

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2009 11:20 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Flagman, you are foolish.

Your post was good until the "I don't think Leach is that great a coach"

Have you witnessed the Tech transformation? Have you seen the offenses and QB's he's built and developed? The innovation of the offense that he's developed (especially with his lineman) has been nothing short of a miracle. He has turned 1 and 2 star players into 4 and 5 star players on the field. He makes the most with the least, and if that isn't the sign of a great coach, I don't know what is.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2009 11:01 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

There are two years left on the current contract and to make this workable all the AD has to do is unmount his high horse and come up with a long term package that doesn't have that draconian buyout/termination clause.  If bad blood is allowed to develop futher it will impact Tech's chances to hire future quality coaches.  Although I don't think Leach is that great a coach (many others don't either), he has been able to bring in good talenlt that's more athletic than Tech has been accustomed to in the past and is well liked among the fan base.  I think Leach feels that a gun has been placed to his head by the AD and defiance is his only defense at this point.  The wounds may never heal from this confrontation, but they might be lessened if Leach and the AD would think of Tech's instead of their own.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2009 10:58 pm

Bottom feeder or competitive?

Make up your mind? You can't have it both ways.

A clear contradiction in your article.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2009 10:53 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

Very interesting Dodd...rewind 3 and 1/2 months and there's NO WAY anyone would have believed Leach would be FIRED after the win over Texas.  Tech will not be able to get anyone better than Leach.  Not possible.  WHO IN HIS RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT TO COACH AT TECH?!?!  Sure the recruiting is decent,'s Lubbock, which is just 2 miles west of BFE.  $2.5 million is a steal for Leach, given Tech history, Leach's really-tough-with-a-QB-who starts-more-than-two-seasons offense.  How does Gerald Myers not see that?

Myers is the one who needs to go before Leach, and maybe - just maybe - Leach will stay.  Bobby Knight tooting your horn doesn't mean you're a good AD.  

As a Texas and Big XII fan, I really hope Leach stays.  We need another legits team to compliment Texas and OU...BADLY!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or