Moos announces Leach as new head coach
Published 11/29/2011Comments (1)
Athletic Director Bill Moos announced Tuesday his decision to hire Mike Leach as WSU's new head football coach.
Moos said he wanted to bring back excitement to Cougar football and provide fans with something to look forward to in the future. Although details of his contract have not been officially released by the WSU Sports Information Department, news outlets are reporting that Leach has agreed to a monstrous contract with WSU and could become the third highest paid head coach in the conference.
Pete Thamel, a sports reporter for The New York Times, reported that Leach's deal to become the leader of the Cougar football team is worth $11 million over five years. Leach's reported $2.2 million per year contract is more than triple the $600,000 former Head Coach Paul Wulff was making. According to Thamel, Oregon's Chip Kelly ($2.8 million), California's Jeff Tedford ($2.3 million) and USC's Lane Kiffin are the only head coaches in the Pac-12 that make more money per season.
In a WSU press release, Leach thanked Wulff for his hard work during the last four seasons in helping turn around the image and talent levels at Washington State.
“First off I would like to express my appreciation to Paul Wulff for all his efforts and dedication to Washington State and wish him the best in the future,” Leach said. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with Bill Moos, who is a legend in this business. To have the opportunity as a coach to work with someone like that is an experience few head coaches get. Along with Bill and Dr. Floyd, I’m excited about being a part of the future of Washington State."
With Leach, the Cougars will get a prominent name in Pullman.
Leach worked with the offense of the Kentucky Wildcats under Head Coach Hal Mumme in 1997 and 1998 when they brought forth the famous"Air Raid Offense,"and also held the same position with the university of Oklahoma in 1999. He was offered the position at Texas Tech in 2000 and had a successful 10-year run as the head man for the Red Raiders, according to a WSU press release.
The press release said during his career in Lubbock, Texas, Leach had no losing seasons and had a career record of 84-43.
Leach was invited to a bowl game in all 10 of his seasons with the Red Raiders, and the team emerged victorious in five of them. Leach's last bowl game was supposed to come in the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State in 2010, but he was not on the sidelines for that game.
Leach was fired from Texas Tech on Dec. 30, 2009, due to allegations that he mistreated player Adam James, son of ESPN announcer Craig James. Leach sued Texas Tech after being fired and the lawsuit remains pending against his former school.
The WSU press release mentioned Leach's time with the CBS College Sports Network as an announcer, but Leach expressed his wishes throughout the past year to return to coaching. Though Kansas, UCLA and Arizona State are also searching for a new head coach, the 50-year-old Leach will be dawning crimson and gray on the sidelines of Martin Stadium for at least the next five seasons.
“I have always admired the tradition of Washington State," Leach said in a press release. "It’s a university on the move that is experiencing growth. I’m excited about what they are doing with the facilities and it’s a team that has battled through some hard times and shows great promise in the future. I’m proud to be a part of this team.”