The latest from the coaching rumor mill is that there is a mutual interest between Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Louisville.
It is almost a certainty that Cardinals’ coach Steve Kragthorpe will be relieved of his duties after this, his third season. Louisville is 4-6 with games left against South Florida and Rutgers. It needs to win those to have a chance to go bowling for the first time since 2006. Kragthorpe is 15-19 at Louisville.
The school is already assured of its first consecutive non-winning season since 1987.
Leach just went through a bitter contract extension negotiation earlier this year. But he emerged with a who’s-your-daddy chip after a battle with AD Gerald Myers. Leach owes no buyout if he leaves. The Red Raiders are 6-4 which ties for their worst 10-game start since 1999, the year before Leach was hired.
The colorful coach is known to have a wandering eye. He interviewed with Washington last year and was reportedly interested in the opening at UCLA before Rick Neuheisel took over in 2008.
"If there are communications [from Louisville], it's not been with us," said a Leach representative on Tuesday.
Louisville AD, Tom Jurich, is one of the more aggressive ADs in the country. He got Rick Pitino to coach basketball and moved quickly after Bobby Petrino left to coach the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 season. At the time, Kragthorpe was one college football’s hottest coaching properties.
Such a move would make sense. Texas Tech is coming off its best season in Leach’s decade-long stay. It went 11-2, losing to Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl in 2008.
The Big 12 South Division is one of the most rugged in the game with annual powers Texas and Oklahoma in control. A move to the less competitive Big East would allow Leach better access to a conference title and BCS bowl.
Leach is in the first year of the extension which pays him $2.8 million this season. That includes an $800,000 bonus he will be paid on Jan. 1 if he is still at Texas Tech.