6 Questions: Leach Talks About Staff, Recruits and Education - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Washington State Football

6 Questions: Leach Talks About Staff, Recruits and Education

Updated:
© Mike Leach sat down with KHQ's Dan Kleckner on Wednesday - his first sit-down interview for local TV since being hired at WSU (Photo: SWX) © Mike Leach sat down with KHQ's Dan Kleckner on Wednesday - his first sit-down interview for local TV since being hired at WSU (Photo: SWX)
PULLMAN, Wash. -

One thing became quite clear as Mike Leach sat down for his first local long-form TV interview since being hired at Washington State: if you're waiting to hear – officially – who will come in to fill out Leach's staff, you'll have to keep on waiting.

Leach said he wouldn't say – officially – who he is bringing in to WSU. Instead, he said, he is focused on recruiting the best players for his team.

The new head of Cougar football on the Palouse has inherited 19 players who have verbally committed to Washington State. Two of them committed on Wednesday: wide receiver Alex Jackson and linebacker Khalil Pettway. Both players are from Culver City High School in California. Pettway chose Leach and WSU over offers from Arizona, North Carolina State and West Virginia. Jackson is a three-star running back who had offers from all over the West, including Arizona State, Colorado, and Oregon State.

Truth be told, all 19 commits still have the opportunity to jump ship if they want to, so all Leach can do is focus on the players coming back next season.

"I'm excited about it," said Leach. "I can see two quarterbacks who aren't just skilled, they're both tough. And then it's a team of freshmen and sophomores last year so we have a lot of faces coming back and some stuff to build on.

"Heck, the best players are always the ones you're coaching, because they're the only ones you have."

Leach talked about several other things during a lengthy interview with KHQ's Dan Kleckner on Wednesday. Topics included everything from his life growing up, to his first coaching job that earned him a whopping $3,000 a year and his decision to take the head coaching position at Washington State. An educated man with three degrees, he is a champion of education and once supplemented his coaching income by substitute teaching.

One of his main goals at Washington State is to make sure his players don't ignore their schoolwork.

"This phase in your life is when you really escalate your knowledge, your exposure to the world and things like that, I thought that was gigantic," he said. "I think a place like [Pullman] where there are students everywhere, and this many together, I think it's a special deal."

Kleckner's interview with Leach is set to air Thursday on KHQ Local News at 5 as a 6 Questions special feature. The full interview will also be placed on SWXRightNow.com.

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