Oct 31, 2013; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars coach Mike Leach reacts during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Leach is engineering the second rebuild of Cougar football in the past 10-years having taken over the reins from former WSU coach Paul Wulff.
Moos brought in the mastermind behind the Air Raid offense which turned the Texas Tech program into a perennial 10-game winner and invitations to elite bowl games with fanfare typically associated with the coronation of a king.
Sept 8, 2012; Oxford, MS, USA; UTEP Miners head coach Mike Price prior to the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
WSU tasted a measure of football success back when Mike Price was strolling the sidelines of Martin Stadium. The final two seasons of Price’s tenure at Washington State produced back-to-back 10-win campaigns. WSU would enjoy a third consecutive 10-win season following his departure to Alabama…where he never coached a single game.
Cougar Nation has been frustrated since their last season of glory, 2003.
Resurrecting WSU football hasn’t gone smoothly. Without some assurance a plan will be followed through on, it will continue to flounder.
Continuity and consistency are words synonymous with the operating philosophy of Moos. Signing Leach to the most lucrative contract in the history of Washington State is a visible example of how Moos runs the show.
Here’s how Moos describes the university agreement with Mike Leach.
“Mike Leach’s contract automatically rolls to another year at the end of December unless one of two or both of the parties want to do otherwise.”
“It’s a 5-year rollover. So what happens, as I mentioned, when it gets to the end of December …another year is added to it so it just continues to be a 5-year deal.”
As long as both parties are happy, Leach and WSU will be linked well into the future.
“Mike Leach wants to be a Cougar and we want him to be a Cougar.”
What makes this component of the blueprint to revitalize Cougar football so important is continuity with the head coach. The young men on the active roster can count on Leach to deliver on his promises for academics and playing the game they love.
Since all college football teams have to be infused with fresh talent year after year primarily due to graduation, bringing in new top prospects is critical. When Mike Leach recruits players, they know he has a 5-year deal with WSU today. By incorporating a 5-year rollover, that gives recruiting solid ground for years to come.
Sep 28, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars head coach Mike Leach during the 2nd half against the Stanford Cardinal at CenturyLink Field. Stanford defeated Washington State 55-17. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Asked of the importance with respect to the commitment of WSU to Mike Leach, Moos cut to the chase.
“It’s very important because a lot of the reason, whether people think it or not, the individual comes to play at a university is because of the relationship with the coach. The style of play and those kind of things (are also key). To know that the coach has some longevity to their contract is very important to the prospect.”
All of that bodes well for the Cougars who still are competing for post season play. “We have three games left. We have a chance to get to a bowl game still,” Moos said.
It’s clear the WSU AD is on the same page with his head football coach looking ahead to Arizona this Saturday…and beyond.
“Try to win these three at the end of the season and get into the post season to extend it a little bit.”
Extending the contract of Leach should have fans talking about bowls games for a long, long time.