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Sports letter: Mike Leach wore out his welcome at Washington State

New Mississippi State NCAA college football coach Mike Leach speaks at a news conference Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, after being officially introduced as the head coach. (Rogelio V. Solis / AP)
New Mississippi State NCAA college football coach Mike Leach speaks at a news conference Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, after being officially introduced as the head coach. (Rogelio V. Solis / AP)

Looks like Mike Leach has finally worn out his welcome at WSU. The all-flash and no-substance show is now traveling on to Starkville, Mississippi, for its next stop.

Leach’s coaching arc is interesting – first Lubbock, Texas, then Pullman and now Starkville. All small-college towns whose fan bases don’t have high expectations. Also places where it is extremely difficult to recruit four- and five-star athletes to come play such that when things aren’t going well, he can trot out his old chestnut that he’s losing big games because the other teams are recruiting better players than he can (see Apple Cup last seven years).

If Leach achieves something there, he can add to the “legend.” I do think he’s bitten off more than he can chew this time, though. You are going to have to play defense in the SEC if you’re going to survive and that is something Leach has shown the inclination not to do at every stop he’s been at so far.

Be interesting to see how long that plays in Starkville. He’s going to have a lot shorter leash there, I think. I wonder what kind of contract he got that was better than the $4 million a year for infinity that he had at WSU.

What I won’t miss is the way he treated the media and the way he threw his players under the bus every time the Cougars had a poor effort. Never once did he take the blame or shoulder the responsibility for bad losses – it was always the players’ fault. Sad.

Well, Mike, now you’re going to a place where you’re going to take real responsibility. Good luck – you’re going to need it. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Ken Rudy

Millwood, WA

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