Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coach Profile: Mike Leach

Mike Leach knows offense. He is considered one of the most innovative offensive minds in the college game today. With the Bruins struggling to perform consistently in that department under Karl Dorrell, could Leach be the coach to make this team a conference juggernaut?


Mike Leach is 46 years old and is currently the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Leach never played college football, one of only five D1 coaches who holds such a distinction. He did attended BYU where he studied the Cougars and the past-first offense developed by LaVelle Edwards. He gained a masters degree from the United States Sports academy and then went immediately into coaching.

Leach started as an assistant at Cal Poly (woot woot!) and then moved into an offensive coordinator position at the Division II level before getting gigs at Kentucky and Oklahoma. In 2000, Leach was given the head coaching position at Texas Tech. In his time with the Red Raiders, the program has been one of he most prolific passing teams in the NCAA. They have had the #1 passing offense 4 of the last 7 seasons and finished with a top-10 total offenses every season since 2001. His current salary is around $1.6 million.

College Head Coaching Record

Year Team Overall Bowl Rank#
Texas Tech (Big Twelve) (2000 - 2006)
2000 Texas Tech
Galary Furniture (L)

2001 Texas Tech 7-5
Alamo (L)

2002 Texas Tech 9-5
Tangerine (W)

2003 Texas Tech 8-5
Houston (W)

2004 Texas Tech 8-4
Holiday (W)

2005 Texas Tech 9-3
Cotton (L)

2006 Texas Tech 8-5
Insight (W)

Total: 62-35

Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll of the season.


The offensive numbers speak for themselves. Obviously Leach has taken the concepts of pass-first offense to an extreme and he has found some good success. His records are even more impressive when you consider that Tech has to compete with the University of Texas and Texas A&M in state. The Big-12 south is a tough conference and the Red Raiders hold their own.

Leach is in his 8th year as a head coach and he has never had a losing season. That is very impressive considering the cycles that college football programs tend to follow. That kind of consistency is sorely needed at UCLA.


While Leach's offense puts up amazing passing numbers, it also puts up equally abysmal rushing statistics. That's kind of gimmicky to me and I like to see a scheme with more balance. Right now Arizona is running a version of Leach's "Air Raid" offense and I'm not particularly impressed. It makes your team awfully one dimensional. Besides, how will Leach recruit top running backs to Westwood if they know they won't get many carries?

I also think Leach doesn't put enough emphasis on defense. His teams haven't had great defensive efforts, which is why he hasn't had better records even with his top-10 offenses. The PAC-10 may be offense oriented, but you aren't going to win many championships unless you can field a great defense. Maybe with the right coordinator, he could be more successful.


I just don't see Mike Leach coming to Westwood. His current salary is higher than Guerrero would probably be willing to spend and you know that UCLA would have to go even higher to make up for the cost of living. He has a good gig there in Lubbock and I don't see how coming to the PAC-10 is an upgrade over the Big-12.

While his offense might put up some great numbers, I'm still not a fan. I think a strong running game is a must if you want to be a top-tier team. The Bruin definitely need to find a way to move past their middle-of-the-conference finishes and I just don't see Leach's system being able to accomplish that.


seahawcla said...

Leach averages 5 losses a year in a lesser conference. On top of that he schedules 4 OOC games against non-BCS, non-Bowl teams. So how exactly is this guy a better candidate then what we currently have.

Dont give me a coach who is flashy, give me a coach who knows how to win games.

Anonymous said...

Lesser conference? I dont know what world you live in but if you checked the rankings and the bowls games you would see that the BIG 12 is clearly a better conference than the PAC 10. Teams like OU, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas Tech are stronger teams than PAC 10 opp. besides USC and maybe Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Omg. Did you really say a lesser conference???
I wouldnt even know the PAC-10 existed if it wasnt for USC..
Your a complete moron.
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Oklahoma State
all bowl teams
and usually

the only reason you would say that is because UCLA is too poor to afford a decent coach. That program is an embarrassment, and i would rank that conference below Big12, SEC, and Big Ten. Its more of a ACC.

Anonymous said...

You have to be smoking crack if you believe the Pac-10 is greater than the Big 12. In fact you have to be smoking crack if you think the Pac-10 is greater than really any BCS conference. I could possibly pair you with the Big East or the Big 10, but not with the other three. Check that koolaid your drinking, some people think they can fly on that stuff.

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