After a record setting football season on the Palouse, the Washington State Cougars have locked in their head football coach for another season. WSU athletics announced today that athletic director Pat Chun has rolled Leach’s contract over to extend through 2023. Additionally, Chun announced that defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys had a agreed to a new three-year deal running through 2021.
Leach will get a raise to $4 million dollars starting with the 2020 season, plus a $750,000 retention bonus at the end of the year. The terms of Claeys’ new deal were not disclosed but he was earning $650,000 under the previous one that ended after the coming season.
“Coach Mike Leach has built a nationally prominent football program at Washington State and our student-athletes continue to excel athletically and academically under his leadership,” said Chun in a media release. “His ability to create and steward a winning culture, combined with his vision and expertise, make him one of the elite coaches in the entire sport of football. Few coaches could have accomplished what Coach Leach did in 2018. There is no greater head football coach for WSU than Mike Leach and we are happy to have him leading our program for many years to come.”
The rollover for Leach comes after he was named the Pac-12’s Coach of the Year, along with the American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. Though we all likely saw that rollover coming, the extension of Claeys is arguably just as big a deal. The former Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive coordinator and head coach performed a near miracle with the WSU defense this season, adapting to what the players had known under former coordinator Alex Grinch. Washington State defense performed well above expectations throughout the season, proving Leach’s hire from the offseason was quite a home run.
Since Leach is the de facto offensive coordinator, Washington State has their head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator under contract through at least the 2021 season. That’s pretty darn ideal for a team looking to build on a season that featured a top-10 finish and a school record for wins.