Washington State University announced Nov. 30, 2011 that Mike Leach was named the Cougars' head football coach.
Leach brings a proven record of winning to Pullman. During his tenure at Texas Tech University, Leach earned 10 bowl bids in 10 seasons (2000-09). His offense led the nation in passing six times, and three times accumulated the most total yards. In 2009, The Red Raiders were second in passing offense and fourth in total offense with both marks ranked top among BCS conference schools. In addition, the Susanville, California, native who was raised in Cody, Wyoming, recorded a school-record 84 victories during his tenure.
In 2008, Texas Tech set a program record with 11 regular-season wins while tying the overall victory record. The Red Raiders were ranked as high as second in the nation and four student-athletes earned All-America First Team status. Leach also received three national coach of the year awards, the Woody Hayes Award, the Howie Long/FieldTurf Coach of the Year and George Munger Award. Quarterback Graham Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree finished fourth and fifth, respectively in the Heisman Trophy voting.
During Leach's time in Lubbock, Texas, the Red Raiders increased their yards per game by more than 150 and averaged nearly 20 points more per outing. In the passing game, Texas Tech threw for about 300 yards more per game in the decade Leach was at the helm.
Defensively, Texas Tech held opponents without an offensive touchdown a dozen times under Leach, including seven shutouts. Three of the whitewashes came in 2000 when the Red Raiders tied for the national lead.
While Leach was the head coach, 17 Red Raiders were drafted by NFL teams. During his last-two seasons at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders earned 28 Big 12 All-Academic honors.
Prior to Texas Tech Leach spent one season as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma (1999), as the Sooners set six Big 12 Conference and 17 school records. He spent two seasons in a similar capacity at Kentucky (1997-98), the only two seasons in school history in which it passed for more than 4,000 yards while setting six NCAA and 41 Southeastern Conference records.
From 1992-96 he served as offensive coordinator at Valdosta State, where his offense broke several national, conference and school records, capping his final season by being named the 1996 Division II Offensive Coordinator of the Year by the American Football Quarterly magazine.
Leach was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Iowa Wesleyan (1989-91) and his quarterbacks broke 26 NAIA records during those three seasons. In 1989, he was the head coach for Pori, Finland in the European League. He was the linebackers coach at College of the Desert (1988), and his coaching career began at Cal Poly (1987) where he mentored the offensive line.
Off the field Leach has had success both as a broadcaster and an author. In 2010, Leach joined CBS College Sports Network as a football analyst where he joined play-by-play announcer Roger Twibell. Leach’s first book Swing Your Sword was published in the summer of 2011. A maverick who took an unlikely path to coaching through law school, Leach talks about his unorthodox approach to coaching and the choices that have brought him success throughout his career.
After graduating with honors from BYU in 1983, Leach earned a master's degree from the U.S. Sports Academy and his law degree from Pepperdine, where he graduated in the top one-third of his class.
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