It didn’t take long for Mississippi State to find their next head coach, and they have hit a home run with former Washington State coach Mike Leach.
The Bulldogs fired Joe Moorhead following their bowl game after just two seasons with the team. Most viewed that as a curious move given that Moorhead had made a bowl game both seasons. However, reports started surfacing about discipline issues in the program.
Now, the Bulldogs have found a way to upgrade, even this late in the coaching carousel.
This move was first reported by Yahoo! Sports and has since been reported by multiple outlets.
Source: Mike Leach will be the next head coach at Mississippi State.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 9, 2020
Mike Leach Heading to Mississippi State
Leach has been a head coach for 18 seasons at the division one level, and he has always overachieved wherever he’s been. However, he will now be recruiting in SEC territory.
The downside for Leach is that Mississippi State isn’t ever going to be one of the better recruiters in their division, but having a lower-ranked recruiting class in the SEC is still going to bring in more overall talent than he was able to get at either Texas Tech and Washington State
In his 18 seasons as a head coach, Leach has posted a record of 139-90. At his now previous stop of Washington State, he posted a record of 55-47. However, that’s a bit misleading. He had two 3-9 seasons in his first three seasons, and after that, the Cougars went to a bowl game each season.
That run included two nine-win seasons, an eight-win season and an 11-win season before having a down 6-7 record this past season.
Leach was also able to do that while generally ranking fourth or fifth in the Pac-12 North in recruiting.
The job he has done in his career at the schools he’s been at is nothing short of amazing coaching. Those schools largely haven’t won outside of his time there.
How Leach Fits Into the SEC
The air raid offense that Mike Leach runs fits perfectly for the Big-12 and Pac 12, but how will it perform in the SEC?
It’s hard to really know because there are mostly better defenses in the SEC, but he will also have more talent to work with than he previously has had.
It’s no secret that Leach has also wanted to make the jump to the SEC. He nearly became the Tennessee coach a couple of offseasons ago. However, the fan base got in the way of that. That was a mistake in most people’s eyes, and now Mississippi State is benefiting because of that.
Bulldogs fans will need to be patient though. Mississippi State has mostly been built around running the ball in the last decade, so it will take some time for Leach to get the right players for his system in.
However, he showed at Washington State that once he has his system rolling, he can compete with anyone.
It will also be interesting to see him in the SEC with his personality. Coach Leach is not afraid to ruffle feathers, which is something that isn’t usually welcome in the SEC.
Also, the Egg Bowl rivalry is now Lane Kiffin vs. Mike Leach, which will make that rivalry must-watch.
Mississippi State is not historically a great program or an attractive job, but they hit a home run with this one.
Top Photo: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press