Mike Leach's Career Path May Surprise You

The Successful Coach Never Played College Football

Wendy Adams
July 12, 2018 - 10:39 am

© Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports


Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach joined the Morning Show on Thursday to talk about college football among other topics. The SEC Media Days will be held next week over a four-day period (July 16-19) at the College Football Hall of Fame. The Pac-12, however, packs everything into one day for their media availability. And that’s how Coach Leach prefers it.

“I’m very happy they’re doing it that way. You put your suit on, they car-wash you through one stop after the next and they get you out.”

The list of player attendees for SEC Media Days was released yesterday. WR Terry Godwin, DE Jonathan Ledbetter and DB J.R. Reed will represent the Georgia Bulldogs. How does Coach Leach choose which players he brings in front of the media?

“I try to take the seniors if I can, mainly because they’ve been around the program the longest. To be perfectly honest, I want somebody who’s not going to screw up. Some of these guys will either be too timid or big headed; and I don’t want some kid who’s going to get snakes in his head because you brought him some attention and put him on a national stage. Guys that are going to sit and bask in it a little too much aren’t the type of guys I’m going to bring.”

What you may not have known about Coach Leach’s background is that his football playing experience was very limited. He played high school football, and won a state Championship. However, he suffered a broken ankle his senior year that limited him to playing rugby after. But it was little league baseball that got him into coaching.

“I had a little league baseball team every year from when I was 15 until I was a sophomore in college. I’d think about coaching, and if I make this move how will it affect the team. Sitting there working my summer job, I’m going through all this coaching stuff. Going to college and then to law school, I’m thinking ‘I’d be ashamed to get old and not coach.’ I was always more of a football guy. After I got out of law school, and was as broke as I could possibly be, I did the logical thing and took out more student loans; I got a Master’s and start coaching.”​

Mike Leach's Path to a Successful Coaching Career

Mike Leach's Path to a Successful Coaching Career