“Mike Leach gets more out of less.”
By definition, this presupposes the student-athletes on the WSU football roster are a notch below players at other Pac-12 schools. If you’re one of media talking heads who subscribe to this notion, I’d question whether you’re truly earning your salary -- or deserve to have your computer connected to the internet.
No question, Leach has earned near-universal consideration for a Coach of the Year award this season. Among the multiple reasons why, one stands out most:
Mike Leach gets more out of players.
But if you think that Leach gets more from less, it’s likely you have been heavily influenced by high school prospect ratings than by the WSU’s staff skill in evaluation and projection. In looking at the Class of 2013, Washington signed two players ranked in the Scout.com top 100 and eight players rated 4-star prospects (a total of 10 players in the Scout.com 300).
WSU didn’t sign any Top 100 players in ’13 and only one 4-star prospect arrived in Pullman. (By the way, Scout.com 300 QB Tyler Bruggman subsequently left a year after he arrived on campus, right about the time Luke Falk began to emerge behind senior Connor Halliday).
Should you believe Leach should win a Coach of the Year award(s), we are in agreement. Our reasoning may differ, but the end result is the same.
Everything Leach and his staff do is about creating consistency, almost to a mind numbing degree. On the practice field it’s about repetition -- but they have developed fundamental ways to achieve off the field as well (Over his career, Leach’s teams have consistently scored well academically).
And accountability to those fundamentals is how and why the 2015 Cougs have done what they have, going for their ninth win Friday and if they get it, a 10-win season is in sight.
It’s taken a lot of time and effort to get here, to raise Cougar football up from the bottom of the Pac-12.
Laying a solid foundation and building upon it - that should never be categorized as getting more from less.
In all honesty though, after Leach’s Monday presser this week, I eagerly look forward to a reporter next asking Leach on the record, “Say Mike, how do you manage to get more from less?”
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