Cougar Nation speaks out on Leach

PULLMAN - The atmosphere at the CUB senior ballroom was electric on Tuesday. The Cougar marching band was jamming along and the fight song filled the air just before Mike Leach's arrival. More than 1,300 Coug fans piled in to welcome the new head coach, and CF.C was on hand to capture the thoughts and emotions of some of the crimson faithful in attendance.

Fans started packing in for Leach's presser a full hour before he was slated to speak -- there wasn't an empty seat in the house and 300-400 fans had to be turned away after filling to capacity. Here's what some of those in attendance were saying…

Name: Bill Wall
Age: 74
Been a Coug fan for 25 years and retired to Pullman 4-5 years ago from Shoreline.
"I think it's outstanding and Bill Moos has done a phenomenal job on behalf of WSU," Wall said. "This is going to put Pullman back on the map. I'm positive we can make it to a (big) bowl game. We've had an eight year dry spell but we've been to Rose Bowls and Holiday Bowls and we're excited to get back there."

Name: Joe Blake:
Age: 84
Been a Coug fan since 1937
"If he can win six games in his first year that will get us to a bowl game and that's good enough," Blake said. "I'd like to see six wins and we'll go from there. It's going to be a change and the athletes he has now are going to have to learn another system, and kids they're bringing in I hope can adjust to that same system. I'm sure he can do it."

Name: Bud Aune
Age: 74
Been a Coug fan for 72 years and grew up 50 miles West of Pullman.
"I hope he can win five games next season," said Aune." The schedule is going to be a little tougher next year and I think it will take three years for his system to settle. I think (true success) will be his third year where he gets his own kids. That's just my opinion but hopefully it's a little quicker. Maybe he's magic, I don't know, but I'm going to give him some time."

Name: Bill Mace
Age: 21 year-old Senior at WSU
Been a Coug fan since 2008
"I didn't know if I was at a press conference or opening night at the Apollo (Comedy Club)," Mace said with a smile. "In all seriousness, Leach was charismatic and you could tell he had the love and support of Cougar Nation. He certainly has won me over and I believe the Cougar family has definitely captured the Pirate Booty with this hire."

Name: Britton Ransford
Age: 21 year-old senior at WSU.
Been a Coug fan since he was a young boy
"That man is a very odd one," Ransford said. "But I'm convinced that he's going to win a lot of games here. The excitement for Cougar football hasn't been this high in years, and personally, I can't wait to see what Leach and the rest of his staff can bring to our school starting in 2012."

Name: Alex Field
Age: 21
Been a Coug fan for 15 years
"I mean I love that they've finally brought in a big name," Field said. "It shows that Bill Moos is determined to making WSU into a national powerhouse once again. Leach was calm, cool, and collected. I'm ecstatic that he'll be the one to lead our troops out into battle on Saturdays."

Name: Ryan Burnett
Age: 21
Been a Coug fan since the day he was born. Both parents attended WSU
"My excitement level is probably at an 8 or 9 (on a 10-point scale)," Burnett said. "I am really upset because I'm actually graduating (this spring) because I won't be a student when Cougar football is going to be doing really well. I had to sit through four years of sub-par football and now with graduation I won't be able to watch Leach in person do everything. Regardless I'm still very excited on what Leach has to offer."

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