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Wazzu confirms Mike Leach hiring

Mike Leach

Following up on reports from earlier Wednesday, and confirming rumors that have swirled since the weekend, Washington State officially announced via a press release that they have hired Mike Leach as their new head football coach.

The release states that Leach has agreed in principle to a five-year contract and, while the financial figures were not divulged, a source close to Leach confirmed to CFT that it will be worth slightly north of $2 million annually.  For comparison’s sake, Paul Wulff, who was fired Tuesday after four years at his alma mater, earned just over $600,000 in 2011.

Leach will be introduced at a 3 p.m. ET press conference Tuesday, Dec. 6.

“I asked athletic director Bill Moos to select the best head football coach in the country and I am convinced that he has done exactly that,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd.

“This is an exciting day for Washington State University and Cougar football,” said athletic director Bill 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.”

Those credentials include an 84-53 mark at Texas Tech from 200-09 on the field and one of the highest graduation rates in college football off of it.  Leach was fired following the 2009 regular season due to an incident involving Red Raiders receiver Adam James, son of ESPN college football analyst Craig James, and a subsequent smear campaign reportedly engineered by the father.

A subsequent lawsuit filed by Leach against Texas Tech for wrongful termination likely played a significant role in Leach being out of the coaching game the past two seasons.  While that suit is still winding its way through the legal system, Leach — along with every other college football fan in the nation — is clearly happy that he’s back where he belongs: on the sidelines.

“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,” said Leach. “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.

“I have always admired the tradition of Washington State. 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.”

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25 Responses to “Wazzu confirms Mike Leach hiring”
  1. tigerhawkeye says: Nov 30, 2011 7:22 PM

    Glad to hear it. I always felt that Mike Leach got a raw deal at Texas Tech, so it’s good to see him get another shot at doing what he enjoys most. There’s no ESPN spawn playing for Wazzu, right?

  2. geraldthecat says: Nov 30, 2011 7:38 PM

    Can’t wait to see the point totals against oregon. I’ll take the over.

  3. hornsalum97 says: Nov 30, 2011 7:43 PM

    I’m glad Kansas did not take him. His 9 years at Tech caused me enough angst (before, the Tech game was almost a gimme, even when Texas truly sucked).

  4. trapshoot says: Nov 30, 2011 8:24 PM

    Hope it will be a great success for both Leach and WSU.

  5. trbowman says: Nov 30, 2011 8:34 PM

    Finally, I no longer have to hear his name connected to every single head coaching vacancy on the planet.

    Before you know it Leach would have been connected to a youth flag football team.

  6. vegasrobert says: Nov 30, 2011 8:36 PM

    I heart Bill Moos.

    Officially a Cougs Fan!

  7. vegasrobert says: Nov 30, 2011 8:38 PM

    trbowman, a youth flag football team? REALLY? REALLY????

    the guy never had a losing season in the Big XII! 10 bowl games in 10 years….

    what planet are you watching football on?

  8. trbowman says: Nov 30, 2011 8:38 PM

    Leach didn’t get a raw deal at Texas Tech, lol. Mindless Craig James haters.

  9. trbowman says: Nov 30, 2011 8:39 PM

    “trbowman, a youth flag football team? REALLY? REALLY????

    the guy never had a losing season in the Big XII! 10 bowl games in 10 years….

    what planet are you watching football on?”

    Yup I was being 100% serious with that comment, lol.

  10. vegasrobert says: Nov 30, 2011 8:39 PM

    ahh good then .. sarcasm can be lost in the internets. i like your hat btw.

  11. vegasrobert says: Nov 30, 2011 8:41 PM

    trbowman, are you that guy who’s just bored and likes to stir the pot? how fun!

    “Leach didn’t get a raw deal at Texas Tech, lol. Mindless Craig James haters.”

  12. vegasrobert says: Nov 30, 2011 8:46 PM

    I LOVE THAT TECH’S ALL TIME WINNINGEST FB COACH….is Mike Leach… that won’t change anytime in our generation. LMAO!! poor raiders fans.. they should impeach their admin and just start over down there in lubbock.

    now they gotta watch their ol’ ball coach in the pac 12 winning and competing in the upper ranks of an improving pac 12.

  13. normtide says: Nov 30, 2011 8:51 PM

    A good hire as I see it. His playbook and personality are both great fits out west.

  14. texbornlsufan says: Nov 30, 2011 9:24 PM

    Great for Leach!!!! Craig James is a puzzzzzzz

  15. acieu says: Nov 30, 2011 9:59 PM

    Craig James is the worlds biggest putz.

  16. Dug says: Nov 30, 2011 10:54 PM

    Dear Craig,

    Thank you. My new salary is $2million a year. I am living in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

    I am still suing your hind end.

    How much you making at ESPN these days? Did not see you on the TV much this season. Everything OK there?

    All my best,


  17. mashoaf says: Dec 1, 2011 12:52 AM

    Go Cougs!

  18. dkhhuey says: Dec 1, 2011 8:58 AM

    Glad to see Mike finally get back on the sidelines! Hopefully the good karma continues and TT and Craig The Idiot James end up paying big time!

  19. pjduffey says: Dec 1, 2011 11:12 AM

    Really looking forward to see him coaching again. I hope he wins that suit against tech and wins big. They were completely spineless for doing that and fuck ESPN for letting Craig James (a shitty analyst anyway) get away with that. Worse–they enabled that.

    The biggest winner here isn’t even Wash State (though it’s a GREAT hire), it’s the PAC 10/12/14/16. They have Chip Kelly, Rich Rod, Lame (he can recruit but I still hate him!), and now Leach? Are you kidding me? I’m a huge SEC homer (Gator fan) but even I will be saying up late to watch the west coast games. Who knows how the defenses will turn out (Oregon’s has been overlooked in my opinion) but its going to be fun football. And high ratings.

  20. mondzy805 says: Dec 1, 2011 11:12 AM

    Great move by Washington State. Larry Scott is doing a great job with the Pac 12, when the Cougars can afford to get a guy like Mike Leach. As a Trojans fan, this is Great to see. Go Pac 12 and in time, the Cougars will be a factor in 2 years, if Leach brings in a great Defensive Mind to help him on that side of the Ball. Wait till all these California Kids, meet Leach. Its gonna work. Welcome back to Major College Football, once again.

  21. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Dec 1, 2011 12:29 PM

    Glad to see Leach back. His idiosyncrasies are always fun to watch. I hear that he wants to change the WSU team name from the Cougars to the Pirates.

  22. usernamethatdoesnotalreadyexist says: Dec 1, 2011 1:46 PM

    And he looks like Vince Gill to boot! Double whammy!!!

  23. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 1, 2011 7:30 PM

    I can’t believe Maryland passed on this guy for some moron that got blown out in the Fiesta bowl? I’m so pissed Penn State didn’t try to bring this guy on, instead now the pirate is stuck in the middle of nowhere coaching a constant bottom feeder team.

  24. mashoaf says: Dec 2, 2011 1:20 AM

    Hey cfbfaninbadnfltown, you ever been to the Palouse? Have you ever watched a Cougar game? Then shut the hell up! Your Maryland team is garbage in the ACC. Go watch some basketball.

  25. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 2, 2011 10:36 AM

    @ mashoaf

    I only brought up Maryland, because they passed on him and I live in DC. If you would have spent a minute to actually read the post you’d know I was a Penn State fan.

    To answer your question YES I’ve been to Pullman for a college seminar about 10 years ago. And it’s a boring, crappy little town, unless you want to go to Idaho or drive over an hour to Spokane(which is still a lame area)? There’s nothing to do at least Boise State & Oregon took the isolation of their locations and built decent football programs what’s Wazzu’s excuse?

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