WSU DC: Leach's search tight as a drum

SAY THIS ABOUT Mike Leach. The guy knows how to keep a secret. Mike Breske was fired nearly a month ago and there has been nary a tendril of credible smoke anywhere suggesting who all Leach is looking at for his next defensive coordinator. The most we've gleaned is a former Cougar assistant coach received what was described by one source as a "courtesy call" about the job a couple of weeks back.

Generally speaking, a courtesy call is a sign that you're well regarded by a lot of people in these parts but there about five other guys higher on the list.

Such a call, CF.C learned this week, was made to current Arizona State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ball, who previously coached at WSU under Mike Price and Paul Wulff.

I’ve been told when Leach arrived at WSU, he was highly intrigued by the prospect of retaining Ball as his DC but that Ball used that interest, as coaches do all the time, to help him land a job in Tempe back in December 2011.

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We also know this: Barry Odom, the much-rumored-about defensive coordinator at Memphis who has ties to WSU assistant coach Dave Yost from their days on staff at Missouri, is not going to be WSU's next defensive coordinator. He just accepted the DC job back at ol' Mizzou.

And we know it won’t be Ute defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake either, he just left Utah for Oregon State.

All we know definitively about WSU's search is that the process is being held tighter than an Air Force One flight plan to Afghanistan.

This is remarkable for two reasons.

The first is that it's coming up on four weeks since Breske was fired on Nov. 30 -- a period of time which actually should be multiplied by seven, like dog years, when you're talking about a coaching search given this era of social media, cell phones and instantaneous communication.

That's a long time to keep a lid on anything.

The second, and this is particularly striking, is that it's not just WSU that's been tighter than a drum on this topic. Presuming the candidates are currently employed, the organizations they're with also are lock lipped.

Coaches talk, so much so the old joke is they would be right at home, sitting around in a large group, in one of those old-time beauty salons with big dryers on their heads. But not this time.

The deafening silence on the hiring process begs several speculative questions:

  • Could it be the person or persons they most covert is/are tied up in bowl games, or the NFL playoffs?
  • Have they zeroed in on one or two people who are so coveted they're weight two or more options?
  • Is Leach, as he is known to do, just marching to his own drummer and focused mostly on recruiting right now?

    Apart from the courtesy call to Ball, we're simply left to speculate on the guys that would seem to make the most sense given their ties to Leach and WSU football chief of staff Dave Emerick.

    Two from that group that still strike a chord with us: Former Arizona DC Tim Kish and former USC DC Clancy Pendergast.

    But at the end of the day, the names continue to be hidden behind the Great Wall of Leach. Indeed, it's not so much that it's been difficult to read the tea leaves on this one ... it's that it's been hard to even locate the tea leaves.

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