BY Howie Stalwick 10:09AM 12/08/2014

Cougars deny report about Leach and Houston

The Washington State Cougars say the latest tweet about football coach Mike Leach is for the birds. Houston television reporter David Nuno tweeted Sunday, “Source confirms Mike Leach has interest in #UH job if buyout and contract issues could be worked out.”

The Cougars promptly responded with their own tweet: “WSU officials say no truth to stories linking Mike Leach to Houston.”

Leach guided Texas Tech to 10 winning seasons and bowl games in his 10 years as head coach of the Red Raiders.

Tony Levine was fired Sunday night as Houston’s coach after a 7-5 season that resulted in a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl. He had a 21-17 record in three years after succeeding Kevin Sumlin. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs will be the interim coach for the Jan. 2  appearance vs. Pittsburgh (6-6).

Houston has paid its football coaches far less than the $2.75 million Leach makes at WSU, but the Cougars paid Leach’s predecessor, Paul Wulff, $600,000. WSU confirmed that a buyout of Leach’s remaining contract would cost $1.35 million; after Jan. 1, it drops to $900,000.

Wulff was fired Sunday as South Florida’s offensive coordinator after one season. The 4-8 Bulls doubled their wins total, but the offense improved only marginally, remaining near the bottom of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.

After being fired at WSU in 2011, Wulff spent two seasons as a senior offensive assistant with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.


  • notaboomer

    mike leach ewwwwww. he should go to houston and run for senator.

  • jafabian

    WSU recently upgraded their facilities and Leach gets an annual salary of $2.75 million. His assistants are at $500,000. The buyout is $2.25 million. I don’t see UH being able to match all that.

    • RadioGuy

      Houston’s got a team going to a bowl game, a new 40,000-seat stadium they want to fill, Leach teams score a lot of points and that almost always brings people out. I agree that UH would be hard-pressed to match what Leach is getting in Pullman, but he has to realize by now that he’s tilting at windmills over there and that he’d be better able to recruit good athletes to Houston and win games in the AAC. Water seeks its own level.

      • jafabian

        The Pac-12 has actively recruited high profile coaches. Not only have they brought in Petersen and Leach but they’ve landed Jim Mora and Todd Graham and kept Sark within conference. Plus the Pac-12 has far more media exposure than the AAC and better bowl opportunities. The only reason Leach would consider moving on is if Moos didn’t support him anymore and the alumni started clamoring for a change. Moos does support him but if the alumni seriously think they can have it better they need to revisit the Paul Wulff years and last four years of Bill Doba’s tenure. Leach’s record at Texas Tech speaks for itself.

        • notaboomer

          plus he’s really good at concussion and head injury management.

        • RadioGuy

          I’m not advocating Leach’s departure from WSU (and I don’t think there’s a groundswell of people calling for his ouster)…I’m just saying that after three years he knows that there are hurdles to winning there and that if Houston made him a good offer, he’d probably listen.

          However, It’s pretty hard to argue that a coaching position in the fourth-largest city in the country doesn’t bring as much media exposure as a lower-tier PAC 12 program in Pullman, Washington (pop. 29,799). Is he getting more ink now than he was at Texas Tech? Also, it’s not unreasonable to think Houston has their own boosters who want to win and are willing to foot the tab to bring in a high-profile coach with a solid history in Texas (where football is king), even if it means a large buyout of his contract at Wazzu.

          I hope Leach stays at Washington State, but I’m also a realist. This is a business.

  • Big

    Houston, Houston? Who would willing leave Pullman for Houston,Texas? Crazy.

  • Jeff

    considering both teams are the Cougars, reading this story is a bit confusing.