Mike Leach

Mike Leach isn’t a coach that you’d like to play for

Mike Leach isn’t a coach that you’d like to play for

Mike Leach has a long history of saying stuff that turns heads.

The former WSU coach has dished out dating advice, planted fake game scripts, and ranked the Pac-12 mascots he wants to fight. He even called Autzen Stadium “Middle Earth,” the fictional land in the Lord of the Rings franchise.

But not all of his memorable moments sat well with his former players.

Andre Dillard, who played with Leach at WSU from 2014-18, before being selected 22nd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, said Leach isn’t a coach that you’d like to play for.

“He's just one of those guys who get results,” Dillard told Derek Johnson of Woodinville Sports. “But the way he gets results is frowned upon by the players. He never gave off any vibe that he cared about his players on a personal level. Playing for him felt a little bit like a dictatorship.”

Leach has been known to say some belittling things to his players. He called his team “soft” and his players “fat, dumb and happy and entitled.”

Dillard said the way Leach spoke to his players was something that personally bothered him.

“What kind of coach throws his entire team under the bus when things go wrong?,” Dillard said. “But he never put any blame on himself. Calling players out. Calling them fat and slow and saying he needs new players. He did that several times when I was there. it just wasn't good leadership.”

Dillard elaborated about some of Leach’s behaviors that bothered him, offering out this example from the Cougs 2016 loss to Boise State.

“He compared us to a junior college women's softball team,” Dillard said. “I was like `Dude, you need to chill out.’ The guys were offended by that.”

Leach, like Dillard, no longer resides in the wheat fields of the Palouse. In January, he agreed to become head coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs football program.

“I’m just happy that he has moved on,” Dillard said. “But I do appreciate him giving me the opportunity to play there [at WSU].”

Dillard, heading into his second season with the Eagles, has been focused on altering his composition and getting stronger. He weighs 320 pounds, compared to his 240 pounds in Pullman.

The 24-year-old started four games at left tackle for the Eagles in 2019, while Jason Peters underwent a knee scope and Lane Johnson had a concussion.

Let's remember some of the craziest things Mike Leach said while at WSU

Let's remember some of the craziest things Mike Leach said while at WSU

In light of Mike Leach reportedly leaving Washington State to accept the head coaching position at Mississippi State, let's look back at "The Pirate's" best moments as a Cougar.

Leach has always been known for his theatrics and interesting opinions or tangents. His run at Washington State did not disappoint in that regard.

Let's dig in.

Mike Leach "hopes" Big Foot exists but isn't optimistic

He does however think Aliens exist... somewhere.

Mike Leach calls Autzen Stadium 'Middle-Earth'

Heading into a matchup this past season on the road against Oregon he spoke favorably about their stadium.

I’ve always like Autzen Stadium. It is one of my favorites in the country. Most people have it as the loudest, I would agree with that... [a] great looking stadium that looks like Middle Earth

Mike Leach demonstrates how to do a shovel pass...during his press conference

 

Leach claims his players are “fat, dumb, and happy and entitled”

Just this year, after Washington State gave up 50 points in the second half to UCLA, Leach gave a candid response about his players in the press conference:

We're a very soft team. We get a lot of good press. We like to read it a lot. We like to pat ourselves on the back, and if we get any resistance, we fold...They're fat, dumb and happy and entitled.

Leach ranks the Pac-12 mascots if they were going to fight

Again this season, Mike Leach was asked which Pac-12 mascot would win in a fight against all other Pac-12 mascots. His answer did not disappoint.

Leach bellyflops

Ahead of the Cougars’ season opener, the team went for a swim at a local pool. We got this fantastic video out of it. 

 

Once again, he roasts his players

If you’re a Cougar and your team plays poorly, be prepared for your coach to keep it real. 

Mike Leach sticks up for cats

He didn't think that cats got a fair shake,

When it comes to weddings "the women lose their minds"

Leach didn't care too much about how his wedding went. The women in his life did.

A compilation of his best quotes from 2019

Here's some more quotes from the man himself from his career in general

"The Pirate" will take his aerial assault, and his vibrant personality to the SEC. He will be missed, sort of. 

Reports: Mike Leach hired as Mississippi State head coach

Reports: Mike Leach hired as Mississippi State head coach

The Cougars will begin their first coaching search in nearly a decade.

According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, Washington State head coach Mike Leach has accepted the same position at Mississippi State.  

According to radio host Paul Finebaum, Leach interviewed for the position with Mississippi State Tuesday afternoon. Bo Bounds ("Out of Bounds" radio) said that Mississippi State Atheltic Director John Cohen traveled to Key West, Florida for the interview. 

The Bulldogs recently fired Joe Moorhead following a 6-7 sophomore season where they lost to Louisville in the Music City Bowl. Moorhead finished his stint 14-12 after replacing Dan Mullen who left for the head coaching position at Florida after the 2017 season. 

The news may come as a surprise to many since the Cougars and Leach agreed to a one-year contract extension to keep him through 2024 before the Cheez-It Bowl after Florida State and Missouri failed to show a legitimate interest in Leach. He was set to begin his ninth season at Washington State where he won 55 games, good for third all-time in school history. The Cougars had qualified for a bowl game five consecutive seasons. 

However, the former Cougars head coach has been linked to SEC jobs in the past. Leach interviewed for the Tennessee Volunteers gig in 2017 and was linked to the vacant Arkansas job before the Razorbacks hired Sam Pittman.

Say a little prayer, win a big game --- Camden Lewis comes up big for Oregon

Say a little prayer, win a big game --- Camden Lewis comes up big for Oregon

With 34 seconds remaining on the clock and Oregon's hopes of snapping a four-year losing streak vs. Mike Leach and the Washington State Cougars laying in the balance, there was a moment of calm. A game winning field goal was pending as Oregon ran the ball to the WSU six yard line then centered the ball at the eight, trailing by a single point. 

Thomas Graham Jr. embraced freshman kicker Camden Lewis on the sideline and prayed. 

The story writes itself from there. The freshman kicker drove home the 26 yard field goal and the madness ensued. 

After the game, Justin Herbert gave praise to his kicker on TV, just as Coach Mario Cristobal did in the press room:

“He went in there cool as can be and got it done.”

It was a storybook ending to a drama-filled game and what better way than a freshman kicker, at home, in front of a packed Autzen Stadium to bring home the win?

Graham Jr. tweeted after the game:

Oregon will head to USC next for a 5pm kickoff on Saturday, November 2nd. For now, Lewis and Graham Jr. will enjoy the excitement of the moment, but will not forget the moment before the moment. 

Mike Leach goes full Gregg Popovich in halftime interview

Mike Leach goes full Gregg Popovich in halftime interview

Mike Leach is a national treasure and we can't get enough of him. As WSU headed into halftime tied 17-17 with Oregon, Leach got asked what his defense was doing well against Justin Herbert. 

In the most Mike Leach way ever, he gave his answer:

Never change Coach, never change. 

Mike Leach has a plan for the rampant problem of lip readers in football

usatsi_12105585.jpg
USATI

Mike Leach has a plan for the rampant problem of lip readers in football

"That's the world we live." 

Wise words from WSU head coach Mike Leach who explains the rampant lip reader problem with people trained since Kindergarten for just these circumstances (insert a heavy dose of sarcasm here).

You've all seen it. Play callers holding their play cards over their mouth as they call plays in to ensure people cannot lip read what is going on. Problem? Yes. But Mike Leach has a solution: Football veils. 

Enjoy:

WSU and Oregon will kick things off on Saturday night at 7:30pm in a pivotal Pac-12 game. 

MORE ON THE DUCKS

Can a one-loss Pac-12 team make the College Football Playoff?

Preview: Oregon vs. Mike Leach’s aerial attack

Talkin’ Ducks Podcast: Can Herbert snap the streak against the Cougs?

Oregon Ducks perplexed by Mike Leach's "Middle Earth" comments about Autzen stadium

Oregon Ducks perplexed by Mike Leach's "Middle Earth" comments about Autzen stadium

Another week, another Mike “Leach-ism”. The Washington State coach described Autzen Stadium as “Middle Earth” he continued to say he likes the unique atmosphere and considers it one of the loudest in the nation.

Middle-earth is the fictional setting of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

[RELATED: Preparing for Autzen's crowd noise is just another Thursday for Mike Leach]

Not sure what to make of that comparison? The Ducks are with you. I asked junior wide receivers Jaylon Redd and Johnny Johnson III, who were perplexed but agreed that there is nothing like Autzen Stadium. 
Enjoy his response in the video above. 

MORE DUCKS:

Numbers to know: Oregon vs. Washington State

How Brenden Schooler's transfer does/doesn’t affect the Ducks

Why a healthy Deommodore Lenoir is crucial for Oregon vs. Washington State

Numbers to know: Oregon vs. Washington State

Numbers to know: Oregon vs. Washington State

Oregon hosts Washington State in a Pac-12 After Dark special at 7:30 p.m., Saturday in Autzen Stadium. 

The No. 11 Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) look to stay atop the Pac-12 North Division, while the Cougars (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) are coming off their first conference win, defeating Colorado 41-10 in a strong offensive showing. 

Here are 10 stats and numbers you need to know to be the fan dropping knowledge at the tailgate:

HOME DOMINANCE

In Autzen Stadium, Oregon has outscored its four opponents 174-19. The Ducks have allowed only one touchdown in 53 drives by its opponents.

LEACHISM

After WSU’s victory against Colorado, Coach Mike Leach looked ahead to the “tough” Ducks and referred to Autzen Stadium as a “great looking stadium that looks like Middle Earth”on the WSU postgame radio show.

Middle-earth is the fictional setting of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

COUGS ARE STREAKING

The Cougars have won the last four meetings with Oregon including a 34-20 victory in Pullman last season. WSU has left Autzen victorious the past two seasons: 45-38 (OT) in 2015 and 33-10 in 2017. Oregon has never lost to WSU five-straight times.

IT’S JOHNNY JOHNSON III’S TIME

Junior wide receiver Johnny Johnson led the Ducks vs. Washington with 90 receiving yards and five receptions, all which resulted in a first down. His 30 catches this season is already more than his sophomore season total (17) and freshman season total (21).

CAREER HIGHS GALORE

Sophomore running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio has scored six rushing touchdowns in the last three games. He has set a new career high in each of the past three games. Against Washington, all 81 of his rushing yards came in the second half.

FROM PULLMAN TO EUGENE

Four members of the Oregon coaching staff have ties to the Washington State football program: Associate Head Coach/Defensive Line Joe Salave'a coached the WSU defensive line (2012-16), Linebackers coach Ken Wilson coached the WSU linebackers (2013-18), running backs coach Jim Mastro coached the WSU running backs (2012-17) and offensive analyst David Gilbertson was a WSU quarterback (2009-12).

AERIAL ATTACK

WSU leads the country in passing (440.7 yards per game), is 4th in total offense (532.7 yards per game) and 8th in scoring (42.7 points per game). Quarterback Anthony Gordon has 2,981 passing yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

INSANE RATIO

Oregon senior offensive tackle Calvin Throckmorton has allowed just one sack over last 38 games (2,766 snaps). In his 45th consecutive start, Throckmorton earned Pac-12 Conference offensive lineman of week for his performance against Washington on Saturday.

THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE AUTZEN

A win on Saturday night would mark Oregon's eighth-straight win at Autzen Stadium, good for the longest streak since a 10-game run from 2013 into 2014. A victory would improve Oregon to 11-1 at Autzen Stadium under coach Mario Cristobal.

A WIN WOULD…

Give Oregon its first seven-game Pac-12 win streak since 2014. It’d also be Oregon’s first 5-0 start to Pac-12 play since 2013.


Preparing for Autzen's crowd noise is just another Thursday for Mike Leach

Preparing for Autzen's crowd noise is just another Thursday for Mike Leach

The Oregon Ducks are in mid-week preparation for their Saturday night game vs. the WSU Cougars and head coach Mike Leach. 

He's already called Autzen "middle earth" this week and one can only sit in anticipation with what topic and quote will come from Leach tomorrow. 

Yesterday, Leach was speaking with the Pac-12 after practice and was asked about piping in crowd noise to practice to preparing for places likes Autzen. 

An un-phased Coach Leach responded simply:

We do it every Thursday. Yep, every Thursday. 

And with that, the interview turned to other topics. 

It is fair to say that Mike Leach isn't losing any sleep about the crowd noise Duck fans are planning to bring to Autzen on Saturday. You can watch Coach Leach's availability from yesterday below: 

Remembering Washington State coach Mike Leach's best moments

Remembering Washington State coach Mike Leach's best moments

Earlier this week, Washington State coach Mike Leach went viral by saying that Autzen Stadium reminded him of “Middle-Earth,” the fictional land from the Lord of the Rings franchise.

His comments got us thinking of the best Mike Leach moments, as he seemingly goes viral every week. So we made a compilation of the highlights of his coaching career.

Leach claims his players are “fat, dumb, and happy and entitled”

Just this year, after Washington State gave up 50 points in the second half to UCLA, Leach gave a candid response about his players in the press conference:

We're a very soft team. We get a lot of good press. We like to read it a lot. We like to pat ourselves on the back, and if we get any resistance, we fold...They're fat, dumb and happy and entitled.

Leach ranks the Pac-12 mascots if they were going to fight

Again this season, Mike Leach was asked which Pac-12 mascot would win in a fight against all other Pac-12 mascots. His answer did not disappoint.

Leach plants a fake game script to get early lead against Texas

Leach was the QB coach and offensive coordinator at Oklahoma for the 1999 season. Going into his only Red River Rivalry game, Leach and the Sooners were large underdogs, so he searched for any advantage he could get. 

His final plan was to create a fake game script and have it end up in the hands of the Texas defensive coordinator. Leach had one of this players walk near the Texas locker room door and drop the fake game script. When a Texas grad assistant picked it up, he thought he made the score of a lifetime. He ran it up to the defensive coordinator, who couldn’t wait to make the perfect play call for each situation.

However, the fake game script was flipped to what the real game script was. If the fake one had the play going to the left, in the game Oklahoma ran to the right. 

Leach’s plan worked and Oklahoma got out to a 17-0 lead before Texas stopped using the fake game script and instead their own gameplan. Texas would go on to win the game 38-28. 

Leach bellyflops

Ahead of the Cougars’ season opener, the team went for a swim at a local pool. We got this fantastic video out of it. 

 

Leach gives advice on dating

While answering a question from a viewer on a local TV program from his Texas Tech days, we got to see how Mike Leach approaches a first date. His main tip: don't go anywhere with salad. 

Once again, he roasts his players

If you’re a Cougar and your team plays poorly, be prepared for your coach to keep it real.