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Last Updated: January 13, 2020

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Mike Leach was Hired as the next Head Coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs Football Team

Introduction

The Mississippi State University Bulldogs have agreed to terms with their next head coach of their NCAA football team. They decided to hire Mike Leach as they sign him to a four year contract that is valued at $5 million each year of the deal.

Leach becomes the 34th head coach of their football squad, and his past success makes me believe he should have fairly good success as well as in the SEC for the first time in his head coaching career. This new position will consist of challenges that include matching up with opposing head coaches such as Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Ed Orgeron of the Louisiana State Tigers, Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M, and Gus Malzahn of Auburn University.

Leach’s Coaching History

The outspoken coach has previously been the head coach of the Washington State Cougars from 2012 to 2019, and prior to that he was the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders from 2000 to 2009. His overall record is 139 and 90 (.607) as well as 7 and 8 in NCAA bowl games (.467) as a head coach. He is yet to make an attempt in coaching at the NFL level yet, but I think he is much better suited for the college game.

While head coaching in the NCAA Leach has won both a Pac 10 North Division championship and a Big 12 South Division title. His primary focus has generally been on the offensive side of the ball as he has been the offensive coordinator / quarterback coach of the Oklahoma Sooners (1999) and the Kentucky Wildcats (1997 – 1998).

Leach’s Awards and Honors

In 2018 he was named the AFCA Coach of the Year. He won the George Munger Award, the Woody Hayes Trophy, and the Big 12 Coach of the Year honors all of which occurred in 2008. He is the two time recipient of the Pac 12 Coach of the Year (2015, 2018).

Head Coaching Record / Statistics

Year School G W L T Pct SRS SOS AP Pre AP High AP Post Bowl
2000 Texas Tech 13 7 6 0 0.538 4.81 1.65       Gallery Furniture Bowl-L
2001 Texas Tech 12 7 5 0 0.583 8.56 2.81       Alamo Bowl-L
2002 Texas Tech 14 9 5 0 0.643 9.53 5.6   24   Tangerine Bowl II-W
2003 Texas Tech 13 8 5 0 0.615 7.5 2.73       Houston Bowl-W
2004 Texas Tech 12 8 4 0 0.667 12.88 6.22   18 18 Holiday Bowl-W
2005 Texas Tech 12 9 3 0 0.75 11.4 0.32 21 10 20 Cotton Bowl-L
2006 Texas Tech 13 8 5 0 0.615 4.2 0.43 25 24   Insight Bowl-W
2007 Texas Tech 13 9 4 0 0.692 8.28 -0.8   22 22 Gator Bowl-W
2008 Texas Tech 13 11 2 0 0.846 15.46 3 12 2 12 Cotton Bowl-L
2009 Texas Tech 12 8 4 0 0.667 10.79 0.86   21 21  
2012 Washington State 12 3 9 0 0.25 -6.89 3.36        
2013 Washington State 13 6 7 0 0.462 5.09 6.94       New Mexico Bowl-L
2014 Washington State 12 3 9 0 0.25 -1.54 6.47        
2015 Washington State 13 9 4 0 0.692 6.55 1.48   20   Sun Bowl-W
2016 Washington State 13 8 5 0 0.615 9.03 3.18   20   Holiday Bowl-L
2017 Washington State 13 9 4 0 0.692 6.62 2.39 24 8   Holiday Bowl-L
2018 Washington State 13 11 2 0 0.846 12.19 -0.04   7 10 Alamo Bowl-W
2019 Washington State 13 6 7 0 0.462 3.87 2.03 23 19   Cheez-It Bowl-L
18 Yrs Overall 229 139 90 0 0.607 7.13 2.7       8-Jul
10 Yrs Texas Tech 127 84 43 0 0.661 9.34 2.28       4-May
8 Yrs Washington State 102 55 47 0 0.539 4.37 3.22       4-Feb

Media Statements

"I wanted the opportunity to have another chapter in my career," says Leach. "Why do you play sports? Whether you're a player or a coach, it's to have the opportunity to do something bigger than you currently are."

"All those guys, I know," Leach stated. "This conference is loaded with quality coaches. That's what makes it exciting."

Leach said about the loaded Pac-12, "I like playing against crummy coaches better."

"The other side of it," Leach replied, "is you're going to be dead in 100 years anyway."

"I've always wanted a quality place where people are committed to winning," says Leach. "Just to be perfectly honest, the recruiting base here is hard to resist."

"We hired Mike Leach because he's a disciplinarian," Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen explained. "We hired Mike Leach because he's a brilliant tactician. Most of all, we hired Mike Leach because he's a proven winner."

Sources:

“Mississippi State coach Mike Leach starts new chapter, excited for challenge of SEC”, Alex Scarborough, espn.com, January 10, 2020.

“Mike Leach”, sports-reference.com, January 10, 2020.


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