NOTEBOOK: Mike Leach looking at DC Spangler?

MIKE LEACH and WSU officials say they're bound and determined to remain mum on names and titles of assistant coaches until the entire staff is in place, but CF.C is hearing more and more the name of Tommy Spangler as potential defensive coordinator.

Spangler, defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Louisiana Tech since 2007, has done nothing to quiet the chatter by failing to respond to multiple phone and email messages.

Spangler doesn't have direct playing or coaching ties to Mike Leach but Louisiana Tech's head coach, Sonny Dykes, coached under Leach at Texas Tech.

Leach has said the involvement of some coaching candidates in bowl games may complicate or delay his naming of assistants. Louisiana Tech plays in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego next Wednesday.

Spangler was a defensive back on Georgia's 1980 national champions. He was an assistant coach on two NCAA Division I-AA national championship teams at Georgia Southern, then guided strong defenses as head coach at Division II Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C., from 2001-06.

Spangler was the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year in 2005, when he coached Presbyterian's first Division II national playoffs team.

In 2006, the year prior to Spangler's arrival at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs finished last in the nation in total yards allowed (483.2 per game) and points allowed (41.7). This season, Tech ranks 55th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense (374.8) and 34th in points allowed (22.5).

CF.C REPORTED on Wednesday that Leach was wooing Joe Salave'a for d-line coach. Thursday, The Arizona Daily Star reported that the UA defensive line coach has indeed been offered the same duties at WSU.

Salave'a, a former NFL defensive lineman, is waiting to see if new Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez might retain him, according to the newspaper.

LEACH'S HIRING CONTINUES to provide WSU with virtually unprecedented national media attention.

"It is a national story," WSU athletic director Bill Moos said Thursday. "The longer it plays, the better."

Leach was a guest Thursday on the national radio shows of Scott Van Pelt and Jim Rome. Moos said more than 1,200 football season tickets have been sold and in excess of $500,000 in donations and pledges have been received since Leach was hired.

Leach said the response of WSU fans to his hiring has been "humbling."

A WSU SPOKESPERSON said final figures are still being tallied, but the athletic department lost approximately $850,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30.

That's the third straight year of losses after eight consecutive years in the black. Most athletic departments lose money.

Moos says WSU has the smallest budget in the Pac-12 ($38 million). The Cougars receive little state funding.

LEAVE IT TO a Washington Husky to try to take the shine off Washington State's coaching moment in the sun.

Ed Cunningham, a former Huskies football player who now works as a college football analyst on ESPN (where Craig James also works as an analyst), said Leach's hiring is "the worst" among recent changes in college head coaches.

"I happen to know he completely lost control" of the Texas Tech program before he was fired in 2009, Cunningham said.

Meanwhile, ESPN's Scott Van Pelt said Leach was "as good a hire as anyone has made." Stewart Mandel of wrote that Leach's hiring was WSU's "biggest win in years." Bill Connelly of ranked Leach's hiring the best in college football this year, just ahead of Ohio State's hiring of Urban Meyer.

ELSEWHERE, Xavier Thames, who sat out last season after transferring from WSU to San Diego State, is averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 assists as the starting point guard for the 9-2 Aztecs. Former Cougars walk-on John Allen has blossomed since transferring to Division II Western Washington last year. The junior point guard averages 14.8 points and 3.1 assists for the 10-1 Vikings.

Another former WSU point guard, Taylor Rochestie, ranks third in scoring (20.0) and second in assists (6.9) in France's No. 1 pro league. He plays for 7-3 Le Mans.

Forward James Watson, who played at a junior college last season after becoming academically eligible at Washington State, is academically ineligible at least for the first semester at 6-1 Kansas State. Watson redshirted one year and played one year for WSU.

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