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Adding credence to the report is the fact that Breske was present Sunday at a team meeting between players and the coaching staff.
Leach has said no formal announcement will be made about his coaching staff until after the American Football Coaches Association conference, which ends Wednesday.
Breske was in the midst of his second stint with Montana. Breske’s defense also helped Montana to the 2001 Division 1-AA national championship during his first stint. He left the for a brief stint at North Dakota State and six years as DC at Wyoming. He rejoined Montana in 201 and the school finished that season ranked 10th in the Football Championship Subdivision in total defense at 289.8 yards per game.
New Washington St. Cougars skipper Mike Leach has plucked his first two hires: Jim Mastro, former Nevada Wolf Pack and UCLA Bruins assistant, and Clay McGuire, East Carolina Pirates (ARRRRR!) special teams coordinator and running backs coach.
@BFeldmanCBS Two Leach hires to WSU: Jim Mastro, the ex UCLA/Nevada asst & ECU's Clay McGuire, who he said was best recruiter he ever had at Tech.
Mastro coached Nevada running backs for 11 years before joining UCLA's staff, where he helped implement some of Nevada's run-oriented Pistol schemes. Coupling the Air Raid with the Pistol, perhaps? Dare video gamers dream?
The primary critique of Leach's offense is that it's too pass-heavy. It traditionally operates from a shotgun set, while the Pistol game uses a modified shotgun that also allows for downhill runs. Something a little more like what Dana Holgorsen does with the West Virginia Mountaineers could emerge.
McGuire played and coached nine seasons with the Texas Tech Red Raiders before boarding ECU.
Looking at how Washington State's hiring of Mike Leach impacts both the Wazzu program and West Coast football as a whole.
The Washington State Cougars wanted Mike Leach, and Mike Leach wanted the Cougars back. Speaking to reporters shortly after the Cougars announced Leach as their next head coach, athletic director Bill Moos said, "A lot of schools wanted Mike Leach. He wanted us." The courtship began in mid-November, as WSU was a few games from concluding its season, and ended with an offer on Monday.
Moos flew down to Key West to meet with Leach on the morning of Nov. 16. The two spent hours together discussing football and life, getting to know each other along the way. Back in 2009, they had been introduced when Leach conducted a coaching clinic with the Cougars in Spokane. Moos said he felt he had to lay the foundation with Leach in order to have a chance to get him, should the decision be made to go in a different direction.
Following the meeting, the two went their separate ways, but talks began to heat up after the Cougars were eliminated from bowl contention with a loss to Utah. The two sides began working on the framework of a contract through intermediaries, though a final decision about the future of head coach Paul Wulff had yet to be made. Following an Apple Cup loss, Moos made the decision to terminate Wulff, thus beginning the more official courtship of Leach.
On Monday of this week, a contract offer was officially extended to Leach. There was no real negotiating over the salary and numbers in the contract, with Moos saying he made an offer and Leach said, "hey that's great." Leach will make a total of $2.25 million per year over the course of the five-year rollover contract. He will also have $1.8 million for assistants, which is just a hair above average in the Pac-12. The buyout for Leach's contract will begin at $2 million, decreasing by $400,000 each year.
The Washington State Cougars announced Mike Leach as their next head coach on Wednesday, just one day after Paul Wulff was relieved of his duties. Word of Leach making the move to Washington State began to surface on Wednesday morning, with reports indicating the Cougars had made an offer to the former Texas Tech head coach. Shortly thereafter, Bruce Feldman reported Leach had an agreement in principle, though no contract had been signed.
The contract has been agreed to and will span five years, according to the Washington State athletic department, who confirmed earlier reports on Wednesday afternoon. In the press release, Washington State athletic director Bill Moos spoke of Leach being an exciting hire that should energize the Cougars' fan base.
"This is an exciting day for Washington State University and Cougar football," said 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."
Leach will be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 6 in Pullman.
It's all but official at this point: Mike Leach will become the next head coach of the Washington State Cougars. According to reports on Wednesday afternoon, Leach has signed a contract with WSU. Earlier in the day, reports emerged indicating Leach had reached a verbal agreement with the Cougars, and all that was pending was a signature on the contract.
The report comes from Ian Furness of KJR Radio in Seattle.
@IanKJR has confirmed that Mike Leach has officially signed his contract with the Washington State #Cougars — @SportsRadioKJR via Twitter
The Washington State coaching job became available on Tuesday, when athletic director Bill Moos announced Paul Wulff would not be back. In a press conference announcing the coaching change, Moos talked of wanting to add a high-powered offense, while explicitly saying he knew Mike Leach and that Leach was on the Cougars short list.
Mike Leach has verbally agreed to coach Washington State, according to a report from the man who co-wrote Leach's book "Swing Your Sword." Leach would replace Paul Wulff, who was fired on Tuesday. Bruce Feldman is also reporting that the deal is for five years and would make him the third-highest paid coach in the Pac-12.
As Feldman notes in his report, the hiring of Leach would seem to fit Washington State athletic director Bill Moos' preference for a "flashy, high-octane offense that lights up the scoreboard." When Leach was at Texas Tech, his teams were routinely among the most prolific in the NCAA. His quarterbacks led the nation in passing during eight of his 10 seasons with the Red Raiders.
It wasn't all for show, either, as Texas Tech enjoyed some of its best success under Leach. His teams went 84-43 and played in a bowl every year he was there. Leach was 5-4 in those bowl games. Prior to his arrival, Texas Tech had not won a bowl game since the 1995 season. The Red Raiders finished in Top 25 during five of his final six seasons there and scored four wins over Top 10 teams, including a win over No. 1-ranked Texas in 2008 that helped earn him National Coach of the Year honors.
Mike Leach has reportedly been offered the Washington State football job and is expected to accept. This is just the latest report suggesting a deal was imminent for the former Texas Tech head coach, who has been out of coaching since being fired in 2009.
Leach would face a significant rebuilding effort at Washington State. The Cougars last had a winning record in 2003, when they went 10-3 under Bill Doba. Since then, the best record they managed was 6-6 in 2006. Under recently fired head coach Paul Wulff, the Cougars were 9-40 overall and just 4-32 in Pacific-10/12 play during four seasons. Wulff's 4-8 record this year, was actually his best season.
But Leach is at least somewhat familiar with rebuilding. When he took over at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders were coming off four straight five-loss seasons and had not won a bowl game since the 1995 Copper Bowl. Under 10 seasons with Leach, they went 84-43, qualified for a bowl game every year and won five bowl games. They also became known for a high-scoring offense.
The Washington St. Cougars have reportedly done it: Mike Leach, former Texas Tech Red Raiders coach, will make Pullman his next port, a source tells Seattle Times' columnist Steve Kelley. The report was revealed on Twitter by Kelley's son and Seattle Times colleague, Mason Kelley. Wazzu fired four-year coach Paul Wulff on Tuesday amid speculation that they were going after Leach.
Adding fuel to the fire that something is in the works, Leach reportedly did not make his regularly-scheduled appearance Wednesday on XM Radio.
Every coaching vacancy for the past year or so has come with Leach's name attached. He's viewed as an offensive genius whose Texas Tech teams scored in scads. He's known for his Air Raid offenses, gooey defenses that get the ball back to his Air Raid offenses in the most efficient manner possible, and amusing quotes.
Leach was 84-43 as Tech's head coach, with a bowl invitation every year. He didn't make it to the Alamo Bowl in his final season, as he'd been fired by ESPN analyst Craig James*. Before reaching Lubbock, he'd assisted at Oklahoma, Kentucky, and various smaller schools, torching local record books all the way.
If Leach joins the same conference as Oregon's Chip Kelly and Arizona's Rich Rodriguez, the Pac-12 might start regularly outscoring Big Ten basketball.
A Wyoming native who went to school in California and drew his coaching inspiration from BYU's 1980s attacks, he'd been connected with West Coast jobs and gigs in Florida, near his Key West home. WSU would afford him the chance to recruit the Pacific coast, and his Latter Day Saints upbringing could help him in recruiting Utah.
* This is not exactly what happened, but it's closer to the documented truth than anything alleged by James or his son.
Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is on the short list to replace Paul Wulff as Washington St. Cougars head coach, athletic director Bill Moos said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. He said the list could include five to seven names, making one wonder just how short it really is, but still. Mike Leach! Somebody's talking about Mike Leach! Internet, right this way!
@BrianMFloyd Moos: "I know Mike Leach. Actually, Mike was here last spring conducting a clinic ... Pretty good record. I read his book"
@BrianMFloyd Moos says Mike Leach is on his short list
Admitting you've read Leach's book has to be some sort of blasphemy in the college football world, so Moos has already committed a gateway sin of sorts. Leach would be an interesting fit at Wazzu, a program that will usually need to outthink its opponents in order to consistently succeed. The Pac-12's scoreboards would also need some sort of upgrade if Leach starts playing Chip Kelly and Rich Rodriguez.
Paul Wulff was fired in somewhat curious fashion by the Washington St. Cougars. He met with athletic director Bill Moos for almost two hours on Sunday, then was fired Tuesday morning. Whatever he said Sunday didn't work, but it must've been pretty good stuff if it kept his job intact for a day and a half.
And Wulff apparently has a few things he'd like to express moments after Moos addresses the media Tuesday afternoon:
That's 6 p.m. ET, for my fellow east coasters. Expect it to be a cordial event, at which the school is thanked and Moos is thanked and Cougs fans are thanked. Were he an older coach without future gigs to apply for, there'd be the slightest chance he could go out with middle fingers ablaze, but we'll have to daydream.
The Washington St. Cougars have fired head coach Paul Wulff after four seasons, Wazzu confirmed in a Tuesday statement. Wulff went 9-40 during his time in Pullman. The only coach who's been reported as a potential replacement for Wulff: former Texas Tech Red Raiders coach Mike Leach.
The school's complete statement, including a quote from athletic director Bill Moos, takes time to note the team's improvement in 2011 despite an injury-racked depth chart.
Washington State University Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Tuesday that Paul Wulff will not return to coach the Cougars in 2012.
"Paul and I met at length Sunday, and then again today, after which I determined the best path for Cougar football moving forward is to have a change of leadership," said Moos. "I appreciate all that Paul has done for Washington State football. He was hired with the objective of rebuilding this program and establishing a solid foundation. For that I thank him."
Wulff, who Saturday completed his fourth year at WSU, compiled a 9-40 record, including a 4-8 mark in 2011. The four wins are the most during his tenure and included an upset of Arizona State and a last-minute victory at Colorado.
This season the Cougars were without starting quarterback Jeff Tuel for all but two games yet took steps forward and finished in the top half of the Pac-12 Conference in both total offense and total defense. WSU averaged 29.8 points per game this season, 11 more than in 2010 while defensively the Cougars surrendered more than four points fewer per game compared to last season.
During the 2010 campaign, WSU showed statistical improvement from the previous season in all major statistical categories while playing one of the top five most difficult schedules in the country. The year was highlighted by a 31-14 upset at Oregon State, after which Tuel was named Pac-10 Player of the Week.
Wulff was hired in December, 2007, following the five-year tenure of Bill Doba. Wulff had one year remaining on his original five-year contract.
"We will begin the process of naming the next head coach immediately," said Moos. "I will not be discussing details of the hiring process, only that I expect to name a successful candidate as soon as possible."
Washington St. Cougars head coach Paul Wulff has been fired after meeting with athletic director Bill Moos, according to Vince Grippi of the Spokesman-Review. If that's the case, Wulff and Moos spent much of the early week meeting, as they'd also met for more than an hour on Sunday. That's a lot of meeting.
@vinceg55 Paul Wulff has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at Washington State. He was told in a meeting with Bill Moos this morning.
Wulff, 44 years old, had a rough early go in Pullman, winning only five games in his first three seasons. But the 2011 Cougs pulled off four victories, including a takedown of Arizona State and an overtime loss against Utah.
Rumors have attached the Cougars to Mike Leach, which is the case with every school in the country.
Wulff has coached in the state of Washington since 1993, working at Eastern Washington from then through 2007 before coming on at WSU.
Black Sunday added quite a few programs to the "Now Hiring" list. Let's catch up on both the strength of each program and who they might try to hire.
Paul Wulff is likely to be fired as Washington State's head coach. Could Mike Leach replace him in Pullman?
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