Mike Leach Begins Hiring Washington State Coaching Crew

Mike Leach has been announced as the next head coach of the Washington State Cougars.

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21 Total Updates since November 28, 2011
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Mike Leach Begins Assembling Washington State Crew, Pistols And Pirates First

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.

Bruce Feldman@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. 

For more on Leach and Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle.

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Mike Leach Hired By WSU: Contract Details And A Timeline

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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Mike Leach Hired As Head Coach Of Washington State Cougars

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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Mike Leach Signs Contract To Become WSU Head Coach, According To Report

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.

Kjr-950-n-1029_normal @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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Mike Leach, Washington State Verbally Agree To Contract, According To Report

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. 

BREAKING: Mike Leach has verbally agreed to be the head coach at Washington St.
Nov 30 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Mike Leach Has Been Offered Head Coach Job By Washington State, According To Report

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.

Sources tell me WSU has made an offer to Mike Leach to be its next football coach. They expect him to accept. It's close to done. More soon.
Nov 30 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

 

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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Mike Leach To Be Hired As Washington State Football Coach, According To Report

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. 


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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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Mike Leach On Washington State 'Short List,' Says Bill Moos

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!

Brian Floyd@BrianMFloyd Moos: "I know Mike Leach. Actually, Mike was here last spring conducting a clinic ... Pretty good record. I read his book"

Brian Floyd@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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Paul Wulff Fired After Meeting Again With Washington State AD, According To Report

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.

Vince Grippi@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.

For more on Wazzu, visit Washington State blog Coug Center and SB Nation Seattle.

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