Leach tight lipped on assistant coach search

MIKE LEACH is known for his outspoken personality and willingness to talk about most anything, but Washington State's new football coach would not confirm or deny media reports on assistant coaches that will be joining him in Pullman.

"Whenever we can get it wrapped up, then we'll brag about it a whole bunch," Leach said Thursday night in a telephone interview from his home in Key West, Fla.

Various reports said Leach has hired running backs coach Jim Mastro, outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons, inside receivers coach Eric Morris and offensive line coach Clay McGuire.

Leach, due back in Pullman on Sunday, said he expects to make an announcement next week on his assistant coaches. Leach said he has not determined whether he will retain any of WSU's current assistants, including 20-year receivers coach Mike Levenseller.

This season, Mastro coached at UCLA, Simmons and McGuire at East Carolina and Morris at Houston. All four have coached with and/or played for Leach in the past.

Tennessee special teams and tight ends coach Eric Russell has been mulling an offer to coach special teams at Washington State. Russell, who grew up near Pullman in St. Maries, Idaho, coached special teams for Leach at Texas Tech.

Antonio Hoffman's resignation as director of football operations at East Carolina prompted speculation that he may be headed to WSU in some capacity. Hoffman played defensive back for Leach at Texas Tech and later aided Leach in recruiting and player personnel matters at Tech.

David Emerick is already at work as WSU's chief of staff. Emerick held the same non-coaching position at Texas Tech when Leach coached the Red Raiders. Emerick has been recruiting coordinator (part of his duties at Tech) at Arizona the past two years.

CBSSports.com writer Bruce Feldman, who co-authored a book with Leach, said Leach once told him McGuire was the best recruiter he ever had during Leach's 10 years as head coach at Texas Tech.

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