WSU’s Mike Leach headed to Mississippi State


The Bulldogs were without a coach since firing Joe Moorhead last week after two seasons. Leach is one of the most engaging and polarizing characters in the game, as he speaks his mind freely about everything from his controversial dismissal at Texas Tech to politics to mascot battles.

His style is anything but typical.

Leach in the SEC will be interesting. Washington State has led the nation in passing four times since 2014 and never finished worse than third over the period.

After spending 2018 as the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State, Grinch was hired as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator.

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The news comes just weeks after Leach's contract automatically rolled over, which would have extended him through the 2024 season with Washington State.

Washington State President Kirk Schulz and athletic director Pat Chun thanked Leach for his time at the school. While Leach was regularly able to beat Pac-12 North rivals Stanford and OR at Wazzu, his only victory in the Apple Cup was in the first one he coached. They got as far as the Orange Bowl in that season and lost to Georgia Tech in that game. The Cougars were ranked in the top 25 each of the last five seasons, finishing 10th in the final AP poll in 2018 following their 28-26 win over Iowa State in the Holiday Bowl. When he ran the offense for Hal Mumme at Valdosta State in the early 1990s, he kept driving two hours north on Interstate 75 because he had found a player at Peach County High in Fort Valley who moved like lightning with the ball in his hands.

But narrowing the gap on SEC West superpowers LSU and Alabama was something even Mullen could not do.

This is a return to the Southeastern Conference for Leach.