New Wazzu coach a bona fide celebrity

BILL MOOS left almost no doubt yesterday that Mike Leach was his man. His obvious energy around the name, coupled with a leak last week believed to have emanated from someone near Elson Floyd, pretty well sealed the deal. Multiple sources now say Leach will soon be winging his way to Pullman.

The Spokesman-Review and Seattle Times, citing athletic department officials and others, say the offer is out and WSU is just waiting for Leach's official yes.

Whether Leach is coming in for an interview or to iron out details or both matters not a whit.

Just like Floyd's hiring of Moos two years ago, this has been too public and too obvious to be anything but cast in stone. Moos and Floyd are too good to allow expectations to be raised if there's a chance for them to be dashed.

Mike Leach is the new head football coach at Washington State.

Based purely on his track record at Texas Tech, he's a find. His work there, in a remote location and against some of the nation's traditional powers, was nothing less than sterling.

Leach is unlike any other coach in WSU history because he's a bona fide celebrity. Not only has he written his own book and been a national radio personality for the last two years, but a veritable book has been written about him. From the New York Times Magazine, which typically reserves itself for more pressing issues than football, to Sports Illustrated, he's been covered up one side and down the other.

Among the nuggets on him;

  • He gave up a career path as a lawyer to launch his coaching career at a high school that paid him $3,000 a year.

  • Once, as Texas Tech's coach and when playing at SMU, Leach traveled down early to do some recruiting. According to a source close to Tech, when the players arrived at the hotel, they saw a guy with inline skates gliding toward them. He had on no shirt, ripped up cutoff jeans, a jumbo sized Styrofoam cup of coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other. It was Leach.

    But all that masks a strong intellect and a hyper-analytical mind.

    While in law school, in class, he was mapping out football plays. And he hasn't stopped.

    A baseball coach in the beginning, Leach in his book, Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life says he learned about how to get the best out of players with differing skill levels. Developing the underdog player and watching him enjoy success is why he says he coaches.

    Here are some links to interesting stories that help explain the who, why and what of Mike Leach:

    Swing Your Sword
    http://smartfootball.com/books/mike-leachs-swing-your-sword

    Coach Leach Goes Very Deep
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/magazine/04coach.html?pagewanted=print

    Training Your QBs
    http://xandolabs.com/2011/09/mike-leach-training-the-qb/


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