Mike Leach Hits The Ground Running In Pullman

We talked to Mike Leach yesterday on “The Kevin Calabro Show,” and to be honest, the new Washington State football coach didn’t say a whole lot when it came to recruiting and his coaching staff.

He’s trying to retain the recruits who verbally committed to Paul Wulff as long as they fit what he’s looking for. According to the Spokesman-Review’s Vince Grippi, Leach has hired all of his offensive assistants but has yet to hire a defensive coach. He told us yesterday that finding the right defensive coordinator is “a priority.”

We’ve had Leach on the show twice before, and yesterday he wasn’t quite as animated. That’s probably because he’s got all kinds of things going – besides trying to get settled into his new job and office, he has to hit the recruiting trail and move his family from Key West, Fla., to Pullman. I’m guessing that had to have been a tough sell for his kids. For the time being, Leach said he’s staying at a hotel, no doubt living out of a suitcase and doing a lot of things on the fly.

EARL THOMAS ON LEACH: When he played at Texas, the Seahawks’ Earl Thomas never looked forward to playing against Leach’s Texas Tech team. He told me last week that it was always a challenge.

“It was crazy,” Thomas said. “They really didn’t have a run game. They ran screens and jail breaks instead of a run game. They passed on every down.

“They got lesser athletes than Texas, but they made it work. They had players with chips on their shoulders because they weren’t recruited by Texas. You want a bunch of guys like that.

“He’s a great coach. He can turn any program around.”

I asked Thomas if Leach could win a national championship in Pullman.

“National championship?” he said. “As long as Mack Brown’s coaching (at Texas), I don’t think so.”

SEAHAWKS VIEWING PARTY: Hope you’ll join me Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Clearwater Casino’s Beach Rock Lounge for the Seahawks’ game against the Bears. We’ll have prize giveaways, a halftime trivia contest and hopefully a touchdown-dance contest after the game, with the winner receiving two tickets to the 49ers’ game on Christmas Eve. Domestics are only $2.25, and there are all kinds of $4 food specials as well. Walk on to the Bainbridge ferry and take the casino’s convenient shuttle to the viewing party. Hope to see you there.

2 Comments

  1. Jim-

    It seems to me that recruiting has really kicked it up a notch, as anytime we can get a commit (sight unseen) from someone being recruited by the likes of Arkansas, Arizona, and Houston we are circulating with the ‘right crowd’, eh?

    I can only hope that Wazzu’s running with the big dawgs translates to a higher level of personnel joining the fold, for as we all know the x’s and o’s are the same, it depends on who you have executing them that makes a big difference.

    I am impressed with the staff Mike Leach is pulling together and clearly he has ties to the State of Texas. It will take some time to build inroads within Washington and the Pacific Northwest for recruiting purposes. While this area produces first class athletes, there just aren’t enough of them who are ingrained with football acumen like Texas (where football is a religion).

    I also like the fact that Mike Leach’s buzz has opened doors previously closed to Wazzu. This bodes well for the future which I contend is so bright, we gotta wear shades.

    Go Cougs!

    • Let’s wait till his coaching career actually starts before talking of NC’s and a bright future, he is a good coach but let’s play the games first.

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