Current Job: Head Coach Washington State
Bowl Record: 6-7
Current Salary: $3.75M
Current Buyout: $2.25M
Why He Can Succeed At Louisville
Mike Leach has been a head coach at 2 very difficult places to win and he’s taken both schools, Texas Tech & Washington State to the highest heights in program history.
In 2008 Texas Tech reached its pinnacle with an 11-2 season. Prior to Leach’s arrival the Red Raiders won 8+ games twice in 22 years. While Leach was in Lubbock the Red Raiders won 8+ EIGHT times.
A similar situation played out with Leach at Washington State. Mike Price was able to find success there from 1992-2002 (2003 was a good one too with Bill Doba) but beyond that period Washington State has been a wasteland. Winning happens there rarely it and is never sustained. Mike Leach came to Washington State and in the last 3 seasons they’ve won 9 games, 8 games, and 9 games again.
Leach is incredibly resourceful, gets good coaches around him and the players respond. He’s quirky and he’ll be controversial, none of it NCAA related.
Mike Leach is different. You’ll hear as much football talk out of him as you will politics, pop culture, conspiracy theories. People would love him….. but it’s not a traditional football coach approach. He’s also not without controversy. Leach was fired from Texas Tech amid concussion protocol concerns with former ESPN personality Craig James’ son, Adam. There was an ugly contract dispute between Leach and Texas Tech. Leach also will stray into politics and Washington State lost a donor over some Leach comments earlier this year.
Mike Leach is himself. Almost to a fault. But he is also a national treasure. So if you get him, you’ve gotta strap in.
Why He Might Be Attainable
He was set to accept the Tennessee job last season. The floundering AD/Greg Schiano/football coaching gate was completely mis-managed (and undermined by Phil Fulmer who the school ultimately hired as AD). He did get a better contract out of the entire debacle, but Washington State is struggling to recover from an athletic department deficit and the program is strapped for cash. Leach continually wants facility upgrades that the athletic department can’t afford.
Why He Might Not Be Attainable
Does he want the Louisville job? Will he leave Pullman?