Washington State University head coach Mike Leach signed an extension that will keep him in Pullman through 2023. With a school record 11 wins in 2018, Leach found himself rewarded in kind with a $4 million per year contract that goes thru 2023.
Leach has built a renaissance in the Palouse improving his record from the miserable beginning in 2012. In 7 short years, he turned a moribund squad that was 3-9 and a laughing stock into a PAC12 power. Leach is 49-40 at Wazzu and has 4 straight bowl game appearances and last year’s run for a school record 11 wins was his most successful yet.
At the beginning of last year, many Cougar fans face a doom and gloom scenario where overtures by Tennessee almost saw him jump ship to the SEC. The promise of a big paycheck and the suicide of star QB Tyler Hilinski almost drove the Pirate back east.
But something magical happened this year. In 2018, the Cougars who were not expected to compete, pulled off one of the greatest runs in school history. A couple of unlucky bounces kept them from a Pac12 title, but perhaps the glory of a title run, national headlines, and a community that came together showed Leach where home really is.
Just like his 10 year run at Texas Tech, perhaps the Pirate saw that staying somewhere he is needed is more important to him than going for the $ and the bright lights. Some people are just wired differently and it seems as if Leach is one of those. His quirk and hard work match the personality of those who call the Palouse home.