The curious case of Leach and Goetz

LOST AMID all the hullabaloo associated with the hiring of former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach at Washington State is the fact that one of Leach's former Tech players was already at WSU. The two have a rocky history, which begs the question: Can they co-exist in crimson?

"I'll talk with him," Leach said Thursday night in a telephone interview from his home in Key West, Fla. "We'll see where we are after we talk."

Goetz, who started at center for Washington State the last nine games of the season after working as a backup guard to start the campaign, redshirted at Texas Tech as a freshman in 2009. He was gone by midseason for reasons that have never been made clear, and moved on to Navarro College where he helped lead the team to the 2010 national JC championship.

Goetz, who grew up near San Antonio, Texas, was reportedly the first player to sign a national letter of intent with Texas Tech in 2009. The Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal reported in mid-October 2009 that Goetz was no longer on the team.

Asked at the time whether it was Goetz's decision to leave the team, Leach said, "I don't know about his, but definitely by mine." Leach did not elaborate then, nor on Thursday.

"I really don't want to get into it," Leach said. "I think he's turned the page, and I'd like that to be the case."

That was one of several Leach comments that would seem to indicate the coach is willing to give Goetz a second chance.

"He's courageous and tough," Leach said. "I never had a problem with him on the field at all."

Leach, who has spent only a few hours in Pullman since his hiring was announced Nov. 30, said he did not have time to sit down with Goetz on Wednesday when he met with the team, held a press conference and was required to perform various other tasks.

"That was a whirlwind," Leach said. "There were a bunch of people I wish I could have talked to.

"He's done some good things, had a good year. I certainly wish him the best. We'll see what we can sort out. I don't have any problem with him personally at all."

Multiple attempts to reach Goetz have been unsuccessful. The 6-4, 270-pounder will be a fourth-year junior in 2012. rated Goetz the No. 55 college offensive guard prospect among 2008 high school seniors.

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