What we do know is that the Washington State football program is on the hunt for a new head coach. While we don’t know yet who it’ll be, could it wind up being someone very familiar with the conference?
To the giddy delight of college football media members across the country, Mike Leach left as the head coach of Washington State football for the same job at Mississippi State Thursday. Leach had spent the past eight seasons on the Palouse.
As for a replacement? Former Wazzu and current Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has been mentioned as a possibility, as have Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl and USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
Additionally, in the hours after Leach left, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports tossed out another name. Jim Mora.
Sources: Former UCLA and Washington coach @jim_morafb could be in mix at Washington State to replace Mike Leach.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) January 10, 2020
The 58-year-old Mora began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Washington, where he also played his college football. After a quarter-century in the NFL, Jim Mora took over as the head coach at UCLA in 2012.
His first four seasons with the Bruins, Mora won at least eight games. He put up back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013-14. A 4-8 record in 2016 put him on the hot seat; a 5-6 record in 2017 led to his dismissal with one game left in the season.
Since the firing, Mora has worked as a college football analyst for ESPN.
Given Harrell’s experience in the Air Raid, he would make much more sense than Mora given the personnel cupboard left by Leach. So would North Texas’ Seth Littrell. Apparently, though, Mora is a name to keep an eye on as the Washington State football program searches for a Leach replacement.