Bill Moos promised us fireworks. He wanted asses in his Martin Stadium seats, and points on the scoreboard.
The old blue collar kinda guy? He wasn’t quite cutting it for the bottom line anymore. Let alone the whole lack of bowl eligible seasons and what not.
But thanks to our good pal Larry Scott bankrolling everybody in the conference with new television money, the Cougars made a splash.
Mike Leach will be the head coach of the Washington State Cougars in 2012 and beyond, and Cougar nation has had little other reaction than pure rejoice.
Why not? It’s a match made in heaven. The Cougars are desperate for a winner. They haven’t had so much as a winning record in eight years. Leach? He has a reputation to repair.
Bottom line is that all the man did in Lubbock was win football games. Ten bowl games in ten years. He won 11 games in 2008. In Lubbock-freaking-Texas. ”Controversy” aside, there is no reason the man should have been shut out of college football for as long as he was. It might have been by his own choice, but it was more likely because there were no jobs worth his while.
But, it’s also important to consider that Mike Leach isn’t quite a fit for just anywhere. Leach won’t go to a place where he will be muzzled, and where athletic departments will be far too afraid let this man even so much as slightly offend to irk the booster base. He wants freedom. Mike Leach will tell you whatever the hell is on his mind, whenever he damn well pleases.
He is also just down right weird – Such as how his infatuation with pirates is well documented. In a 2008 interview with University of Washington President Mark Emmert in regards to the at the time vacant Washington coaching job, Emmert recalled that he shied away from a second interview with Leach because of the quirkiness Leach presented and the worries of how he would rub the culture around the program the wrong way.
That won’t be a problem at Washington State. The Palouse Pirate is being embraced with open arms, quirkiness and all. Bill Moos doesn’t care if the students section decides to all come up dressed as Jack Sparrow. He isn’t dolling out over $2 Million a year in buried treasure for a yes man who instills “Cougar Values”. He wants wins, and he wants Washington State to be represented on a larger stage than the local one.
Paul Wulff accused Washington State of losing it’s “innocence” by letting him go, knowing full well the type of direction Moos was going to take the program instead. That is fair enough. Wulff gave his heart to the Washington State program as an alum. He took the program from ground zero and re-invigorated it with talent worthy of the Pac-12. Had he caught a few more lucky breaks, the Cougs are probably playing in the post-season this year.
But this is a new day and age of football in the Pac-12. Washington State is tired of being the little college on the Palouse. Bill Moos saw his shot and he took it.
Now only time will tell if Leach will lead the program into murky waters or if it will be smooth sailing from here. There is little reason to think it won’t be the latter.