After a disappointing 2-4 start and comments that compare many of his players to “dead corpses,” is Washington State Cougars head football coach Mike Leach already wearing out his welcome in his first year as the school’s new signal caller?
Leach was already a controversial hire following his tumultuous time as head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Two days after being investigated for his treatment of a player with a concussion and suspending him, Texas Tech fired Leach. After being out of coaching for a couple of seasons, Washington State signed Leach to a five year contract that made him the 4th highest paid coach in the Pac-12 conference.
But after a 2-4 start that includes a winless 0-3 mark in conference play, Leach certainly did not endear himself to fans after his comments about his players through the first six games of the 2012 college football season.
“Some of (the seniors) have been great, and some of them have been very poor,” Leach said Monday. “Some of them have had kind of this zombielike, go through the motions, everything is like how it’s always been, that’s how it’ll always be. Some of them quite honestly have an empty-corpse quality. That’s not pleasant to say or pleasant to think about, but that’s a fact.”
Leach said that his comments were taken a bit out of context, although when given the opportunity to clarify his remarks, he actually made them even worse.
“The biggest thing, most of our leadership’s coming from younger guys,” said Leach. “We do have some key seniors that really do a good job. And it’s interesting that somebody told me about a quote that was taken our of context, which certainly wouldn’t be the first time they’ve taken something I said out of context, but at any rate, we’ve got some seniors doing a good job, we’ve got a whole bunch of them as I said, are dead corpses. You can either breathe life into yourself and get out there and play … we’ve got a bunch of younger guys that are stepping up and playing hard.”
His message about the senior players needing to step up their play is clear. So, too, unfortunately, is the fact that he continues to call them a bunch of dead corpses.
The Cougars are struggling. The fact that they are just 2-4 is one thing, but for a Mike Leach team, they are not scoring points. In fact, entering this Saturday’s game against the also disappointing California Golden Bears, the Cougars rank just 100th overall in the nation in total points scored per game. They are 15th overall in passing yards, but they are stalling out late in drives.
If the team cannot put points on the board and play exciting football, the losses in Washington State are going to appear even worse.
And if Leach does not learn how to use a bit more tact in his sessions with the media, his tenure in Washington State may be short lived.