Mike Leach is the new coach at Washington State

I’ve always been a fan of Mike Leach… I like his personality and his style of offense.

Smart Football has a good article about what fans can expect from Leach at Washington State, including what his most important hires are going to be. I’m linking it here, because I think a lot of what applies to Leach also applies to DH… and, it’s just interesting football talk.

Specifically, a lot of his success or failure in Pullman will be decided by three hires: his defensive coordinator, his offensive line coach, and his recruiting coordinator. Regarding his DC, it’s well known that Mike spends game day with his face buried in that wrinkly scrap of paper he calls his play sheet. He spends meeting time with the offense, and lots of that time in small film study sessions with the quarterbacks. This is not to say he ignores his defensive players — though some of them have been known to feel that way — but it means he needs someone who can simply run the defense. He famously fired his defensive coordinator mid-season in 2007 after his team lose a shootout to Oklahoma State, and in his book stated that his mistake was not firing him sooner. Like Steve Spurrier at Florida who needed Bob Stoops to finally win a national title, Leach absolutely needs someone who not only is a great defensive teacher but can also keep his troops motivated when all the media attention is on Leach and his offense and when Leach puts his defense in tough spots with a failed fourth down or a three-and-out in the no-huddle following three incompletions and all of eleven seconds having run off the clock. The good news is that Washington State should score points, so the defense should be able to take chances without fearing mistakes, but this is a real concern.

Offensive line coach is incredibly important because of the pressure Mike’s offense puts on those guys. He will probably go back to the wide splits, and he expects his linemen to do their pass blocking one-on-one and not lose. The good news for Leach is he’s probably got a good one in mind that he can get: Robert Anae. Anae was Leach’s offensive line coach in his early days at Texas Tech, before he went on to be the offensive coordinator at BYU and later Arizona. As his gig at Arizona is ending, I expect Leach to make Anae a pretty nice offer to come back and be his line coach. Then again, he’s been running his own show fairly successfully for a number of years, and he may not want to go back to letting someone else call plays. Of course, Mike isn’t afraid to look outside the box for his hires. At Texas Tech after Bill Bedenbaugh (currently the OL coach at WVU) left to follow Sonny Dykes to Arizona, Leach hired Matt Moore, who had one year of D-1 experience at Troy and had been a high school coach, where he ran Tony Franklin’s version of the Airraid, “The System“.

Full Article at: Smart Football

About the Author

John is the founder of WVUPressBox.com and is primarily responsible for the technical (behind the scenes) aspects of running the website. He also contributes to the original content and news links on those rare occasions when he actually beats the other guys to it.