Report: Mike Leach hired by Washington State

Bruce Feldman and others are reporting on Twitter that Mike Leach will be named as the new head football coach at Washington State.

Leach has been sitting tight waiting for the right opportunity after he left Texas Tech in a controversial breakup at the end of the 2009 season. He’s been hanging out in Key West and doing some announcing. Leach is widely considered to be one of the best offensive minds in college football and he turned the Texas Tech program into consistent winners. His overall record at Texas Tech was 84–43.

Meanwhile, Washington State has become an embarrassment in the PAC-12 under Paul Wulff, going 9-41 over the past 4 years. To put it in perspective, Wulff is coming off his best season with the Cougars at 4-8. Washington State isn’t considered to be on of the marquee programs of the PAC-12, but the school has had some excellent teams over the years and has produced some good quarterbacks like Drew Beldsoe and high draft picks like Ryan Leaf.

Leach has helped to develop some excellent college quarterbacks. He coached Tim Couch at Kentucky and Couch became the #1 pick in the NFL draft. At Oklahoma he coached Josh Heupel and he coached Graham Harrell at Texas Tech. Michael Crabtree was considered the best receiver in college football under Leach’s supervision.

It looks like a great fit for both parties involved. Leach will bring a high-powered offense and some attitude to a program that has hit rock bottom. The PAC-12 is competitive, but Leach comes from the equally competitive Big-12 where he battled the likes of Oklahoma. Leach probably won’t elevate Washington State above USC and Oregon, but he’ll likely make them competitive. He should also do well with recruiting given his history of coaching scoring machines.

Leach also brings some baggage as well, so he’s a high risk/high reward candidate. The Adam James incident was ugly for Leach and for Texas Tech. For that reason, he didn’t get serious consideration from the biggest programs. For example, I couldn’t see Leach being considered for the open UCLA job. But Washington State is perfect. Given their recent history, what do they have to lose? At the same time, it’s a big enough program where Leach could do some serious damage and build a dangerous football team.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach sounds off about Adam James in new book

Mike Leach has a new book out entitled “Swing Your Sword,” and in it, the former Texas Tech coach writes that his biggest regret was not cutting Adam James, the son of ESPN broadcaster Craig James, who inevitably got him fired in December of 2009.


My biggest regret was not cutting Adam James. I kept hoping he’d develop a work ethic. He had two position coaches, first Dana Holgorsen, then Lincoln Riley. He didn’t get along with either one.

According to Steve Pincock, the team trainer, James was “walking the field” in an indifferent way. James was wearing street clothes and had a baseball cap on backwards, which, injured or not, he knew was against team rules. I asked Pincock why Adam wasn’t dressed appropriately for practice. Pincock said he didn’t know. This was the first he’d seen him because Adam was late. I asked him why Adam was wearing sunglasses. Pincock said Adam’s eyes were sensitive to light because he had a concussion. I told Pincock to remove James from the field since he wasn’t dressed properly, was late, and had a bad attitude while the rest of the team was practicing hard. I told Pincock to put him somewhere dark and have him do something.

At no point did I say to lock him in a room. I never told Pincock what he should do with Adam beyond getting him off the field and putting him somewhere dark since his eyes were sensitive to light.

Months later, when Adam James was deposed under oath, he said he found the incident “funny” and that he did not believe that I should have been fired. In fact, he texted his father about the incident while in the equipment garage because he thought he would “like” it, since they both have the same sense of humor.

According to Pincock’s statement, he specifically told James not to go into the electrical closet by the media room. James admitted under oath that he ignored Pincock’s instructions. He admitted that he let himself into that closet and that he shot a video — a video that would start a firestorm of allegations — because he thought it was funny.

Check out the rest of’s story because it’s a pretty interesting read. What struck me the most was how removed Leach appears to be from the situation. It felt like I was reading a testimony from a trial instead of Leach’s personal feelings on the matter. He comes across as calm and composed, and a person that is only interested in sharing the facts from his side of the story. Good stuff.

This Adam James situation is he said, she said, but it’s not hard to choose sides. My take? I think it’s pretty clear that Leach is telling the truth in his book. And maybe that’s because he graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law and can make a damn compelling argument. But the consensus on Adam James is that daddy made sure he was given every opportunity in life and never had to work for what he wanted. It appears as though Craig James took the opportunity to get back at Leach for not turning his son into a star, even though Adam was the only person who stood in Adam’s way. But that’s just my opinion and I’m only basing my thoughts off of what I’ve read. I could be way off and Leach is every bit of the monster Craig James has made him out to be.

That said, considering he had a winning record every year at Texas Tech and ran one of the most electrifying offenses in college football, I hope Leach finds work again in the future. Like most college football coaches, I doubt this man is a saint. But it doesn’t sound like the Adam James situation should have been his undoing at Tech.

Mike Leach is waiting it out in Key West

I was never a big fan of Mike Leach, but I always respected what he accomplished at Texas Tech. The scandal that ended his tenure at Tech always seemed bizarre, and he’s in the middle of several lawsuits with the university and with ESPN.

Ron Modra has written an interesting profile of Leach in the Washington Post, which finds him in Key West as he waits for another opportunity to coach a major college football program. he had a shot at the Maryland job but they picked Randy Edsall from UConn instead.

I think he’ll get another shot eventually. My guess is you’ll see him at a BCS conference school that has hit rock bottom.

Maryland fires Friedgen, may have Leach in its crosshairs

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Mike Leach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during play against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ralph Friedgen has been fired as Maryland’s football coach according to He’ll receive $2 million to cover the final year of his contract and he’ll leave the program after compiling a 74-50 record in 10 years at his alma mater.

ESPN also reports that former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is Maryland’s top choice to replace Friedgen.

Leach has already had discussions with potential members of a Maryland coaching staff and has the strong support of Under Armour, the Baltimore-based athletic apparel company run by a former Maryland player, sources told ESPN’s Joe Schad. Maryland considered hiring Leach after last season but it would have cost too much to terminate the contracts of Friedgen and former coach-in-waiting James Franklin and hire Leach, a source told Schad.

Leach and Maryland were discussing a deal last year that could have paid him in the range of $2.5 million a season. It is believed Maryland will try to complete a deal with Leach as quickly as possible, a source told Schad.

Leach would be an interesting fit because Maryland always has talent. I don’t think recruiting would be an issue although it may take a couple of years for Leach to compile the players to run his offense. We’ll see if the Leach-Maryland marriage comes to fruition over these next couple of weeks now that Friedgen has been let go.

Rumors continue to swirl around New Mexico hiring Mike Leach

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26:Head coach Mike Leach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders gives instructions to his defense against the Houston Cougars  at Robertson Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

A rumor that was apparently fueled by Facebook has the college football world buzzing this week.

A former executive producer of New Mexico Lobo TV sports programming and long-time news producer for KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported yesterday via his Facebook page that the Lobos will fire head coach Mike Loksley in the next couple of weeks and replace him with former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.

SPORTSbyBROOKS has the details:

New Mexico’s football radio broadcast flagship KOB-AM reportedly then picked up the Facebook entry from Gerges Scott, who is now a crisis communications consultant. KOB-FM subsequently mentioned its sister station’s report about the Locksley’s firing on its Twitter page:

“Rumors coming from our sister station 770 KKOB that UNM Lobos football coach Mike Locksley will be fired after the game at NMSU on October 9th, and replaced with ANOTHER controversial coach!”

The ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL reports that Scott said he was told the news by “unnamed sources.“

As SPORTSbyBROOKS points out, Locksley has gone 1-14 to start his New Mexico coaching career and was suspended for a game after admitting to a physical altercation with one of his assistant head coaches. He’s also been accused of sexual harassment by a New Mexico employee and “aggressively confronting” a student reporter with a “profane outburst.”

Sounds like a winner.

In wake of the rumor going public, New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs had this to say:

“Mike Locksley’s our football coach. Period,” Krebs said when asked if Leach would replace Locksley this season.

“As I said (to the Journal) on Saturday, we will make an evaluation at the end of the season. We’ll sit down with coach at the end of the season, but he’s our coach.”

We’ll see, Paul.

If Leach showed interest in the job, I don’t see why New Mexico would tell him to shove off. Leach would make the Lobos relevant again for the first time in…well let’s just say they’ll be relevant again and leave it at that.

Related Posts