In what many may call a merciful act of the Almighty, Washington State University snagged one of the most coveted football minds in the nation when former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach signed the dotted line to become not only the savior of WSU football, but the new face donors want to see on the sidelines.
There has been great angst over the departure of Paul Wulff, the man who in 2007 took over a football program nobody else wanted. But after posting an overall record of 9-40 (4-32 in-conference) in four seasons in Pullman, as well as the opportunity to land a big-name and proven coach, it was long odds Wullf would survive. Even when I heard Wullf’s name in 2007 and saw his experience, I knew once again WSU went small-time.
With a record of success and an outsized personality to match, Mike Leach is one of those guys that can grab a room and make it his own. That’s exactly the type of personality this school has always needed, and as much as Coug loyalists love him, we’re including the great Mike Price. It’s long past time a WSU head coach could go into a recruit’s home and bring with him 10 straight winning seasons and a bowl appearance in every one. With famed and results-driven athletic director Bill Moos in his corner, YOU MARK MY WORDS, the Washington State Cougars will at the VERY LEAST compete for the PAC-12 title as often as anyone else.
The Leach hire is the best news for the WSU faithful short of Knute Rockne coming back from the dead and standing on a stool declaring himself WSU coach. Many Coug faithful are upset Paul Wulff was let go JUST when the program was turning around. Maybe he did deserve one more season to prove himself and his team. In the end though, just looking at Wulff, it’s been my personal belief he got in over his head the second he took the job. This isn’t Eastern. I truly understand the loyalty aspect of where he brought this program. He simply doesn’t possess the ability to bring it up to where those same fans want the Cougs to go, and that’s a PAC-12 championship and the national title.
If the Mike Leach era starts with today’s announcement and ends in failure, Bill Moos will still be able to say Coug Nation didn’t settle for ordinary. He went out and got the highest-profile coach he could, a coach with an outstanding track record and a personality to match. He got a coach with the distinct ability to bring unprecedented national attention to WSU and its football program that Paul Wulff, for all his best qualities and attributes, could never accomplish. And for that I say GO COUGS!