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Coaching Candidates: Mike Leach

Career record: 74–37, 5-3 in bowl games, including one we all remember. He has never had a losing season at Texas Tech, but has never had more than 9 wins (4 times). They have never finished better than 2nd in the Big XII South.

He has a current salary of $1.75 Million with a $500,000 buyout. The AD at Texas Tech has said that he will renegotiate the contract after the season.

Just read this awesome

Leach never played college football at BYU. He has a degree in Law from Pepperdine. Notable stops in his career as OC were at Kentucky (97-98, under Hal Mumme, with Tim Couch), and the OC at Oklahoma for Bob Stoops in '99 (Josh Heupel) before taking the job at TT.

The offense he runs is technically a Run-n-Shoot spread, with 4 and 5 receiver sets and large splits on the OL (and a 2pt stance), that has produced NCAA records nearly every year since he's been there (470ypg passing in 2007). I should point out that it is not the classic R&S, since it tends to run more motion, features alot of 2-back sets, has some different reads, and has many elements of the West Coast added in, however it is close. It is better to call it a "space" offense, since the objective is to use the entire field and create space. They've led the NCAA 4 years straight in passing yardage and likely will again in 2008. Though the running game is only there for effect in past years, Leach has rushed more this season. The man absolutely despises running the football though, and has discussed in the past the possibility of going through an entire season without running it. It seems that every year a new QB gets plugged into his system and flourishes better than the last. Throughout NCAA history, six players have passed for more than 5,000 yards. Three are Texas Tech Red Raiders (Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons, Cody Hodges).

For the last eight years Tech has been recognized as one of the nation's top institutions for consistently being above a 70 percent gradation rate, according to the American Football Coaches Association. In 2007, 16 players were named to the Big 12 Conference Academic Football Team, the second-most of the league institutions.

Other than Nick Saban, this man will have the most fantastic press conferences in the entire country. He's just as likely to tell you how to fix the stock market as tell you how to catch a football. He's been fined for calling out referees numerous times, and then remarked that he didnt regret saying any of it. If he came to Clemson, you should expect a verbal war with Spurrier unlike any other you've ever seen.

Here's his tips on dating:

On his team’s defensive improvement after last September and how he intends for it to continue this season: "We were the youngest team in college football last year, so I think as our players gain confidence and rally together as players, and the coaches over there, I think we steadily improved and some of them, you know, maturity, which is really kind of a word I don’t like, besides the fact that I’m immature. I mean, where is this benchmark?"

Quoting Winston Churchill...

The Weather Report...

You can either call him crazy or eccentric...

I can imagine similar comments as this about Clemson...

Today he was named a finalist for the Bear Bryant Award (coach of the year) (source).

An article on how he's changed the Big XII, here.

Leach was raised a member of the Mormon church, though he is completely unlike any other Mormon I have ever met. They are in fact Christians, however they have extra books included in their Bible that other denominations call heretic, and so Catholics and most Protestants will not label them as Christian. They tend to be very family-oriented people, and his daughter is a freshman at TT, a big reason for him to stay there.

Recruiting? TT has made the most out of 3-star QBs. Pretty much anyone he gets just gets plugged into the system and does well. WRs are the same story. In Texas there are alot of 4 star players to go around, so its harder to gauge. They also compete with Texas, OU, and all of the Big XII for in-state players. They didnt recruit as well as you might think though, as their classes have not been rated very high until this season. Only 2006 was ranked in the Top 25, this year is ranked 22. None of the rest of his classes since 2002 have been ranked by Rivals.

Defense? This is the achilles' heel historically. This year's TT defense manhandled the Texas' front in their recent game and has played well all year. His offense scores so quickly (2-4 minutes) that the D stays on the field more, and his distaste for running the football means they get very little respite, even when TT is ahead. I would expect him to bring in another DC, but any coordinator will know that he's in for a tough road when his D cant get rest.

Leach has been mentioned for the Washington opening, just like every other western coach. Thats no big surprise as all the major openings are going to interview the same people. I personally think Leach would fit with my own personality, but I can see alot of Clemson fans being rubbed the wrong way by this guy.

My biggest problem is that he hates to run the ball. Thats why I would not want him as my #1 choice. I dont like 42-35 scores every week.