/Leach has plenty of Mississippi players now

Leach has plenty of Mississippi players now

Leach made Minshew confirm his recruiting pitch, which was basically, “Gardner. Why don’t you come here to Washington State to lead the nation in passing?” Leach listed all of the attributes that made Minshew such an accomplished quarterback, including intelligence, willingness to work, and toughness. After we had finished our conversation about Minshew Leach suggested that he would recruit “more Mississippi children who care about football” and that he was willing to work hard. It’s now fifteen months later that Leach has his chance. Thursday brought the announcement that Leach, the co-creator and creator of the Air Raid offense, will be the 34th Mississippi State head football coach. He replaces Joe Moorhead. Leach was twice named college football’s national coach-of-the year at Texas Tech and Washington State. There have been many controversy moments in his career, including when he was fired from Texas Tech for his treatment of a player. Also, at Washington State, he said that his players were “fat, dumb and happy” and called them “entitled”. State athletic director John Cohen, president Mark Keenum, weighed Leach’s record (139 wins and 16 bowl games) against Leach’s record of success. You can say what you like about Mississippi football, but the last few weeks have been much more exciting. Both the State and Ole Miss jobs have been changed since State’s egg bowl win. Ole Miss has Lane Kiffin, while State has Leach. Both are no strangers to winning football games and creating controversy. Leach has already won the first match between them. Leach, who coached Washington State, defeated Kiffin, who coached Southern Cal 10-7 on Sept. 13, 2013. Three weeks later, Kiffin was fired. (Yes, Ed Orgeron was hired to replace Kiffin. Orgeron, Kiffin, and Leach now coach in the same division within the same conference. Sometimes college football works in a strange way. Flint Minshew is the father of Gardner. He believes Leach and State are a perfect fit. Flint Minshew stated, “He’ll win.” Flint Minshew said, “He has won every place he’s been,” and that he doesn’t coach at easy places to win. Let me tell you, people often ask me how Mike Leach will adapt to Mississippi players. It’s not about how Leach will adapt Mississippi players; it’s about how the Mississippi guys will adapt to Leach’s style. “He always has,” he said. Interestingly, Will Rogers, another Brandon quarterback, will be his inheritor. His coaches describe Rogers as a player who resembles Minshew almost in every way. Rogers, who backed Mississippi to victory last month in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game, has already enrolled at State. Tyler Peterson, Brandon’s coach, said that Rogers “reminds me of Gardner” in so many ways. In September 2011, Leach visited Jackson as part of a book tour to promote his book “Swing Your Sword.” There, we talked for more than an hour about almost everything except football. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss’ embattled coach, was at the time and Rebel fans hoped that Leach would be hired. Leach stated that Houston has been in this position for a while. He’s a great coach. They have the time. They can still turn the tide.” Nutt didn’t. However, Leach had already accepted the job at Washington State by the time Ole Miss fired Nutt. Leach spoke at Lemuria about his decision not to practice law but to coach football. Leach was born in California, and raised in Wyoming. He graduated from BYU after three years. At Pepperdine, he graduated in the top third. Leach chose to become a coach at Cal Poly, where he earned $3,000 per year. After he was hooked, his coaching career took him to College of the Desert and Finland before he moved on to Iowa Wesleyan, Valdosta State, and finally to Division I. He and Hal Mumme developed the Air Raid offensive strategy at Iowa Wesleyan. It has been replicated at almost every level of football. One reason Mumme and Leach devised the spread-the-field-and-hit-’em-where-they-ain’t system was because they often competed against teams with superior talent. Air Raid was an equalizer. Leach will find himself in the same situation in the SEC West. Alabama, LSU and Auburn will all have more talented athletes than the likes of Texas A&M. He will face a problem that he did not face 20 years ago. Air Raid is a common practice in almost every country, even Alabama.