Mike Leach agrees to five-year deal to coach Washington State football


Mike Leach has been named football coach at Washington State. Leach agreed in principle to a five-year contract and will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday in Pullman, according to a release from the school.

"I asked athletic director Bill Moos to select the best head football coach in the country and I am convinced that he has done exactly that," WSU president Elson Floyd said in the news release.

Moos said, "This is an exciting day for Washington State University and Cougar football. I have spoken about the need to re-energize our fan base and take Cougar football to the next level. I believe the hiring of Mike Leach accomplishes both of those goals. His credentials speak for themselves."

Leach replaces Paul Wulff, fired Tuesday by Washington State after a 9-40 record in four seasons. The quick push for Leach was not unexpected. The Seattle Times reported last week that Wulff was likely to be fired, and that Leach would be the top target of the Cougars. An informed source told The Times the deal might be done quickly.

Leach, 50, had been expected to be a top choice at Kansas, where he had an old friendship with athletic director Sheahon Zenger.

Leach has been out of coaching for the past two years after a controversial exit from Texas Tech. He was fired just short of collecting on an $800,000 salary bonus. At issue was whether he mistreated a Red Raiders player, Adam James, by directing him to stay in a darkened equipment shed to help treat a concussion.

Leach coached 10 Texas Tech to 10 straight bowl games and favors a spread passing offense.

"First off I would like to express my appreciation to Paul Wulff for all his efforts and dedication to Washington State and wish him the best in the future," Leach said in the news release. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to work with Bill Moos, who is a legend in this business. To have the opportunity as a coach to work with someone like that is an experience few head coaches get. Along with Bill and Dr. Floyd, I'm excited about being a part of the future of Washington State.

"I have always admired the tradition of Washington State. It's a university on the move that is experiencing growth. I'm excited about what they are doing with the facilities and it's a team that has battled through some hard times and shows great promise in the future. I'm proud to be a part of this team."


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