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Mike Leach introduced as WSU's new football coach
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011
By Darin Watkins, WSU News
Click here to view full press conference.
PULLMAN, Wash. – A capacity crowd of more than 1,000 students and fans was on hand as Washington State University on Tuesday introduced Mike Leach as the new Cougar head football coach. Leach, who agreed in principle to a five-year contract, was introduced to reporters and fans at a news conference in Pullman.
"I came back to Washington State University to go to the Rose Bowl,” said WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos. "The man who is going to take us there is to my left, Mike Leach…”
The introduction was greeted with a tremendous ovation by Cougar fans.
Leach brings a proven record of winning to Pullman. In 10 seasons as a head coach, all at Texas Tech (2000-09), his program earned 10 bowl bids. In addition, the Susanville, Calif., native who was raised in Cody, Wyo., recorded a school-record 84 victories during his tenure.
When asked "Why Washington State University,” Leach answered, "the commitment to excellence in every phase of the university, the excitement around the community, and that fact that you can win here and win big.”
During his tenure at Texas Tech, his offense led the nation in passing six times, and it three times accumulated the most total yards. In 2009, the Red Raiders were second in passing offense and fourth in total offense - both tops among BCS conference schools.
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.
"I'm thrilled to be back coaching. I've enjoyed my two years, but that's a different dimension than coaching offers,” said Leach. "There's nothing like the unity and working together with the team. You've got players, you've got coaches and fans building a program into the best it can be with everybody doing the best they can. I think that ‘one for all and all for one' is the part you miss the most.”
Leach has received three national coach of the year awards, the Woody Hayes Award, the Howie Long/Field Turf Coach of the Year and the George Munger Award. Quarterback Graham Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Heisman Trophy voting.
During his remarks, Leach spoke of the great coaches that had come before him at WSU and of the strong program he now has the distinction to lead.
"I'm excited to be here, and I'm excited to stay here,” he said.
Leach told the crowd he plans to be on the job as early as this weekend.
Note to editors:
SOUNDBITES from Bill Moos and Mike Leach are available for download.
Go to http://mediatransfer.wsu.edu/and log-in using "wsunews” as Username and "wsunews” as Password. Right-click and save the underlined file that is listed next to "Download File”. Each file is available in multiple formats. Do Not Open In Browser. Please courtesy Washington State University
SOT #1 Moos
"His reputation and his resume is off the charts. I came back to Washington State to go to the Rose Bowl. And that's where we're gonna go. We're going to have a lot of fun along the way. And the man that's going to take us there is to my left. I'd like a warm welcome for our new head coach at Washington State University, Mike Leach (loud applause).
"People ask me, why ‘Washington State?' And once I get past in the back of my mind thinking ‘well that's a stupid question (cheers) and then … I roll that through my mind and I don't say it. And then I immediately blurt out the obvious answer…‘the commitment to excellence in every phase of the university, the excitement around the community, and that fact that you can win here and win big I believe.”
SOT #2 Leach
"I'm thrilled to be back coaching. I've enjoyed my two years, but that's a different dimension than coaching offers. Coaching… There's nothing like the unity and working together with the team, you've got players, you've got coaches, and fans building a program into the best it can be with everybody doing the best they can. I think that all for all and all for one' is the part you miss the most. I mean tere's big challenges but there's big payoffs too. The journey and the battle I think is exciting.”
"I'm excited to be here, and I'm excited to stay here, and we're off to a great start in building great things. But none of that happens without the partnership of the fans and the people in the stands. It can't just be done by players and coaches. Its where fans and the entire university share in the whole experience where it's most rewarding where things really take off and start reaching different levels. That's what's exciting to me and I think that's all going to ignite and everybody's going to have a fun ride in the course of it. But you go into that stadium and there's all kinds of fans that are sharing and appreciating the whole experience. It's a lot of fun and I'm sure that's going to be the case here.