Mike Leach

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RumorMill

Rumor Mill Week 6: College Football’s Best Coaching Scoop

Most insiders now assume Michigan will dump Brady Hoke. Barring a major turnaround, it appears to be more a matter of when – not if – a change will be made. We continue to hear the same names.

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Mike Leach Fires Special Teams Coach

The Pirate, Mike Leach, is looking for a new Special Teams coach at Washington State.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Nov. 21

Now that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has tied Barry Switzer for the school wins record, many insiders think he might be ready for a change.

It looks like Oklahoma coach  Bob Stoops will be back with the Sooners next season. (Photo: Alonzo Adams, AP)

It looks like Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will be back with the Sooners next season. (Photo: Alonzo Adams, AP)

There was some Florida chatter a couple of weeks ago and some USC chatter before that. Will Muschamp is likely to stay in place in Gainesville and you hear a lot of other names associated with USC.

Stoops won’t leave unless it’s a place where he can win as big as he has at Oklahoma, and there aren’t many of those places. That means the odds are good he’s still coaching the Sooners in 2014.

Multiple sources believe that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin could be on the move after the season.

Franklin has been rumored to be a second tier candidate at USC. With the job he’s done with the Commodores, he’s sure to have other opportunities.

Charlie Weis’ seat at Kansas is a little cooler after beating West Virginia to end a 27-game conference losing streak. Weis probably makes it to 2014. It’s hard to see the Jayhawks dumping two consecutive coaches after only two seasons.

The heat on Hawaii coach Norm Chow continues to rise. The Warriors are now 0-9 and a winless campaign is certainly possible. It’s wait and see, but this one could pop open.

Speaking of the Mountaineers, there’s a growing chorus of calls for Dana Holgorsen’s head on a platter.

His buyout that is reportedly $11.3 million, and that’s going to be hard for West Virginia to swallow. Fact is, that buyout probably saves him, but what if he loses to 1-9 Iowa State to close the season?

As for Holgorsen, he’s clearly frustrated with the program’s facilities.

There are lots of rumors flying about Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. However, most believe Rhoads makes it, but makes significant staff changes. Still, a loss to Kansas Saturday could damage his chances of survival.

Indiana is 4-6 with games against Ohio State and Purdue remaining. Most insiders believe Kevin Wilson will return in 2014 – if he beats the Boilermakers in the season finale. With a loss in that one, things get very interesting.

There have been rumors and reports for weeks that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is a serious candidate for the USC job.

We’ve heard from a couple of sources that he could be in play with the Houston Texans, should they decide to dump Gary Kubiak at season’s end. The Houston Chronicle now reports that Sumlin would be a “prime candidate.”

With Washington State on the verge of its first bowl berth since 2003, head coach Mike Leach was awarded a new contract extension that keeps his salary at $2.25 million per year and keeps him in Pullman until at least 2018.

The Cougars went 3-9 last season and are 5-5 in Leach’s second year.

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Washington State extends Leach's contract through 2018

Washington State has extended Mike Leach’s contract through 2018.

Washington State has extended coach Mike Leach's contract through 2018 (Photo: AP)The Cougars were 3-9 in Leach’s first season at Wazzu, but are 5-5 with games remaining against Utah and arch-rival Washington.

Athletic director Bill Moos is quite pleased with the program’s progress.

“Mike Leach has done a fabulous job in his short time at Washington State,” Moos said in a release. “Extending his contract through the 2018 season will ensure a bright future for Cougar football. He has elevated the program on the field, in the community and in the classroom.

“I believe he is among the best college football coaches in America and is a fantastic fit in Pullman.”

Leach is 92-57 in 12 seasons as a college head coach. The Cougars five wins are their most at this point in the season since 2006.

“I’d like to thank Bill Moos and President Floyd for extending my contract and giving me the opportunity to coach at Washington State,” Leach said. “The support we have received from students, fans, alumni and the administration has been tremendous and by the end of this year we will have facilities that rival anyone in the country.

“As I’ve said many times, my family and I are extremely happy at Washington State and love living in Pullman.”

Photo: AP

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Former Texas Tech QB: Leach cussed out Big 12 commish, fired DC in the middle of games

Mike Leach always keeps his quarterbacks in close company, and has never been shy about sharing his opinion, so it’s only natural that one of his former signal callers would have some great stories from his playing days.

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Red Raiders quarterback Graham Harrell (Photo: AP)

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Red Raiders quarterback Graham Harrell (Photo: AP)

Former Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell was a special guest at the Red Raiders game against Kansas State last Saturday, and shared a couple of those stories during an interview as part of the AT&T Fan Zone Tour.

During the Red Raiders’ 2007 game against Texas, Harrell said Leach actually called then-Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe from his cell phone on the sideline to complain about the officials. Tech lost the game 59-43, and Leach called to alert the commissioner he was going to rip the Big 12 officials after the game.

“I can remember in the third quarter, he’s pulling his cell phone out,” Harrell said. “He always talked to me between series, so he’s talking to me and he pulls his cell phone out. He called the Big 12 commissioner.

“He’s like cussing out the Big 12 commissioner, telling him like, ‘These refs are screwing us. You better watch my postgame press conference because I’ve got some stuff to say.'”

Leach let the referees have it after the game, noting head official Randy Christal lived in Austin, and was fined $10,000 by the Big 12 Conference — the largest fine in conference history.

In another story, also from the 2007 season, Harrell recalled that Leach essentially fired defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich in the third quarter of the Red Raiders’ defensive 49-45 loss at Oklahoma State.

“We go in at halftime and we had just crushed it offensively, and he goes over to the defensive coordinator and is dog cussing him in the locker room,” Harrell said. “Because I was in the coaches’ office which is where the quarterbacks went — he’s just talking down to Setencich. And I liked Setencich, but I was like, ‘Man, that’s rough. That’s nothing I want to see.’

“Then in the third quarter, we go score and it’s going back and forth again. He got on the headset and he told Lyle that, ‘This is probably your last game as a defensive coordinator.’ I was like, ‘Jeez. That’s not something I need to hear either.’

“He kind of fired him in the middle of the game.”

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Pac-12 reprimands and fines Oregon DC Nick Aliotti

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti

The Pac-12 has reprimanded Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and fined him $5,000 for comments he made leading up to and after the Ducks’ 62-38 win over Washington State on Saturday.

“The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating, and this prohibition specifically includes comments that create doubts about the credibility of the Conference’s officiating program,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.

“His comments also showed a lack of support for the Pac-12‘s policies on Sportsmanship and Standards of Conduct, which call for our coaches to treat opponents with respect.”

According to the Pac-12’s release on the reprimand and fine:

Aliotti made derogatory public comments about the Pac-12 officiating program leading up to Oregon’s game against Washington State and continued that line of dialogue following the game. Additionally, Aliotti spoke negatively about Washington State’s coaching staff and the way in which Washington State finished the game. Since his initial comments, Aliotti has publicly apologized for his comments about Washington State.

Trailing 62-24 late in the fourth quarter, Washington State threw two touchdown passes in the final four minutes against Oregon backups.

Aliotti said following the game that he thought WSU’s decision to leave its starters in late was “Bull—-” and “low class.”

He has since apologized to Leach and Washington State for those comments.

“The bottom line is, I’m sorry,” Aliotti said in a statement released by Oregon. “I’m embarrassed that I got caught up in the moment after the game. There’s no excuse, but sometimes right after the game the adrenaline is still flowing and I made a huge, human error in judgment. I wish I could take it back, and I promise it won’t happen again.

“I’d like to apologize to Mike Leach and Bill Moos (Washington State athletics director), Washington State and its fans, and Oregon and our fans.”

Photo credit: Associated Press

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Oregon's Aliotti apologizes for Leach comments

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti has apologized for his harsh comments about Washington State coach Mike Leach.

“The bottom line is, I’m sorry,” Aliotti said in a statement released by Oregon. “I’m embarrassed that I got caught up in the moment after the game. There’s no excuse, but sometimes right after the game the adrenaline is still flowing and I made a huge, human error in judgment. I wish I could take it back, and I promise it won’t happen again.

“I’d like to apologize to Mike Leach and Bill Moos (Washington State athletics director), Washington State and its fans, and Oregon and our fans.”

Trailing 62-24 late in the fourth quarter, Washington State threw two touchdown passes in the final four minutes against Oregon backups.

Aliotti said following the game that he thought WSU’s decision to leave its starters in late was “Bull—-” and “low class.”

Photo credit: Oregon Athletics

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