Whether it is winning the BCS National Championship or experiencing a winless season, the head coach is often held responsible by the media, school administrators and fans. Though coaching degrees can help a potential prospect learn the ropes, the most successful coaches continuously prove that it takes hard work, cunning and an unparalleled love of the sport to reach the upper echelons of college football grandeur.
The Washington Post recently reported that Washington State announced Mike Leach as the new head coach of its football program. Leach's highly creative approach to college football has earned him much success throughout his tenures at the University of Kentucky and University of Oklahoma as an offensive coordinator, and finally Texas Tech as a head coach.
According to Texas Tech's website, the Red Raiders football program had its best years, without a doubt, during Leach's 10 years as head coach. The school notes that the nine teams between 2000 and 2009 set more than 150 school records, while the coach was awarded three national coaching awards in 2008. The list of accolades, awards and records received and set by Leach and his Red Raiders could go on forever.
Leach is heralded for his ability to spread out the field. In what many believed to be a risky offensive strategy from the outset, the team is constantly focused on passing, placing as many as five wide receivers out on some plays. This is a highly abnormal set-up for a college team, but because of Leach's comprehensive approach to his strategies, Texas Tech had the best passing offense in the country for years.
While Texas Tech blossomed into a serious contender in the NCAA, Washington State has been in peril for the past four seasons. According to The Post, the school, under head coach Paul Wulff, experienced a 9-40 record since 2006, prompting administrators to fire Wulff and avidly court Leach. The new contract will guarantee Leach more than $2 million a year, with the ability to attain performance bonuses, The Post explained.
Leach has high hopes for his new team, and has already garnered excitement from the school's fan base. When asked why he moved to a struggling program, Leach responded, in front of many fans and players, "I think that's a stupid question. You can win here and win big, I believe," The Post reported.