Leach brings high-powered offense to Starkville

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Mississippi State has hired Mike Leach to be the school’s new head football coach. He replaces Joe Moorhead, who lasted just two seasons at the school as head coach.

Leach brings his high-powered offensive attack to Starkville, Mississippi.

Former Washington State Cougars head coach Mike Leach looks on during the game against the Arizona Wildcats
Mike Leach looks on during the game against the Arizona Wildcats (Getty Images)

“Mike Leach is a proven winner who has established a culture of excellence for nearly two decades as a head coach,” Cohen said. “An offensive genius and two-time national coach of the year, he has a track record of building programs to national prominence with accountability and a blue-collar approach. We are thrilled to welcome him and his family to the Mississippi State family and look forward to watching our football program grow under his leadership.”

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be the head football coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs,” Leach said. “I loved Washington State, but I am excited for the next chapter in the SEC. It’s a privilege to be a part of the MSU family, and we look forward to getting down to Starkville shortly.”

This is not the first-time that he has flirted with the Southeastern Conference. Before the Tennessee Volunteers hired Jeremy Pruitt, the school’s former athletic director John Currie met with Leach about the job.

He was also flirted with the Arkansas Razorbacks when they had a vacancy.

Leach departs Washington State after had agreed to an extension back in December. He was set to make $4 million under the new agreement.

The agreement that he signed with the Cougars was a five-year deal. Mississippi State is likely paying a buyout to Washington State to get him out of his current agreement.

The 58-year-old Susanville, California native had been the Cougars head coach from 2012-2019. He went 55-47 during his tenure at the school.

He is 139-90 during his entire collegiate coaching career as a head coach. Leach also went 84-43 with the Texas Tech Red Raiders from 2000 through 2009.

The 2019 season was a disappointing season in Pullman, Washington. The team went just 6-7 before losing in the Cheez-It Bowl to the Air Force Falcons.

It was one of four losing records for Leach at Washington State. He went 6-7 twice in the regular season and 3-9 in two additional seasons, as he was building the program.

After he built up the program, the team went 37-15 from 2015-2018. Washington State finished with an 11-2 regular season, including an Alamo Bowl win over the Iowa State Cyclones.

He is taking over a team that went 6-7 under Moorhead in 2019. The reason why the administration elected to go with a different coach was that they felt like Moorhead was not the right fit and he reportedly had discipline issues.

Leach is coming to a school, who has not won an SEC Championship since 1941. This is also their only SEC Championship. In addition, their last Division title came in 1998.

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