It took Mike Leach a while to hire a new linebacker coach when Jeff Choate left for UTEP and while most attributed the delay to waiting until after signing day to make the announcement, Leach may have spent more time than most thought searching for Choate's replacement.
Leach eventually hired Ken Wilson from Nevada. Wilson came to WSU with an excellent resume and appeared to be an ideal replacement for Choate, but as it turns out Leach came close to hiring a different candidate. According to Michael Cohen of Syracuse.com, Leach offered the job to now Syracuse linebacker coach Clark Lea. At the time Lea was the linebacker coach at Bowling Green. According to the report, Leach offered Lea the job and while considering it, Lea called Chuck Bullough who ended up offering him a job on Syracuse's staff.
Interestingly enough, Lea and Wilson have the same tie to WSU's coaching staff, Jim Mastro. Mastro coached with Lea for one season at UCLA and spent several year's with Wilson at Nevada. Mastro and Leach have been friends for many years and it's obvious Leach trusts his opinion, at least when it comes to coaching recommendations.
For strictly personal reasons, I'm glad Lea ended up at Syracuse. For one, Wilson is excellent on Twitter and two having coach Leach and coach Lea is just a typo waiting to happen.
WSU held its annual Cougar Legends weekend recently and based on the video below, it looks like a great time was had by all.
Washington State Cougars Official Athletic Site
Last weekend Washington State Athletics hosted the Third Annual Cougar Legends Weekends at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Beginning with Friday night's dinner and auction through Saturday's 18 holes of golf, the event once again brought together a who's-who of former Cougar athletes in what has become the premier event for the Cougar Athletic Department.
Linebackers coach Clark Lea considered job at Washington State before coming to Syracuse | syracuse.com
Syracuse, N.Y. -- Clark Lea's phone rang shortly after the conclusion of his first season at Bowling Green. Mike Leach, head coach at Washington State and formerly of Texas Tech, had come across Lea's name, and he was interested in the young linebackers coach with experience in the Pac-12. There was no prior relationship between the two, just one friend that Lea had on the Washington State staff. The job intrigued him, and he spent the early part of January researching the school and the staff in order to make his decision about whether or not to take it.