So Sunday was coaching carousel and rumor day, with coaches losing their jobs left and right and rumors of replacements flying everywhere. One such rumor emerged shortly after Tom O'Brien was fired by N.C. State, and Mike Leach was mentioned. There were reports of contact between N.C. State and Leach, then denials, then confirmations, then more denials. Welcome to the end of football season.
This is where we stand:
Just asked Leach abt NC ST report. Says he has no idea where that came from: "They haven't talked to me & I'm really happy here."— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) November 26, 2012
Traded texts w Leach tonight. Hearing that recruits already questioning him to NC State. Leach said he's very happy & staying at WSU...— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) November 26, 2012
Feedback from recruits is a powerful thing— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) November 26, 2012
No change to our previous reports.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) November 26, 2012
To be clear, I think Leach is a top notch coach. Think he'll be at WSU for years. Great hire.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) November 26, 2012
Also understand other programs interest. Important however for stability of program for people to know he'll remain at WSU which he will— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) November 26, 2012
To be clear, it wouldn't be surprising at all if there was contact, because there almost always is, even if the denials come later. And it also wouldn't be surprising if it was innocuous, not seeming like much at the time. But with loads of attention comes questions, and recruits also start to wonder.
This happens all the time and is part of the coaching carousel. Sitting head coaches do trade phone calls and texts with schools looking to fill a vacancy, but most of it goes on behind the scenes. When it gets out in the open, that's when there's problems.
Earlier I said the N.C. State job didn't make a lot of sense for Leach and one of the reasons centers around how the search is being conducted. Athletic director Debbie Yow is going to do this in public, and things are already getting weird. She already talked about Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin openly.
And then there's this whole thing.
As my print edition story will highlight, Yow promised the players a coach who will deliver 'Alabama type' talent— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) November 26, 2012
Remember how Leach got to Washington State: It was all done in secret until the curtain was quickly ripped back after Paul Wulff was fired. Bill Moos established a level of trust with Leach, which we know is a big thing with him. It wasn't all done in a public way.
So relax. Leach is always going to be in demand, especially around this time of year. Open up a Twitter search for "Mike Leach" and watch. You'll see rumors and fans pining for Leach. It's an interesting position for Washington State fans as far as the football program goes, though we've seen it before in basketball. The Cougars have a head coach that will generate interest and rumors. It's part of the package with Leach.