USA Today Sports/Rebilas

WSU football coach's appearance with GOP presidential front runner in Spokane ignites discussion

ALL OF THE news accounts identified him as Washington State’s football coach, but Mike Leach emphasized Saturday in Spokane that his appearance with, and endorsement for, Donald Trump as president was as a private citizen. And WSU, without naming names, issued a statement saying it supports the right of faculty and staff “to express their views in their personal capacities.”

“I am in no way representing Washington State,” Leach said in front of a crowd at the Spokane Convention Center.

Regardless how he or anyone else chose to parse the man and his highly visible job at WSU, the fact of the matter is that Leach and Trump together ignited considerable conversation on a sunny Saturday in the Pacific Northwest

Twitter was atwitter and feeds from news outlets were buzzing.

Leach told the Spokane gathering that “it’s time for Trump to assist us together in our country.”

Trump, in turn, extolled Leach’s coaching skills and said the two are “phone friends” who chat periodically.

“I like champions,” Trump said of Leach.

"You’re lucky to have him …,” he added.

Leach and Trump have known each other for a decade or more. Leach has an autographed photo of Trump hanging on his office wall in the Cougar Football Complex. And Trump once sent a hand-written note to the President of the University of Miami recommending Leach for the then-open Hurricanes’ coaching job.

Here’s a sampling, much of it from media types, of some of the conversation about it all on Twitter:

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