Archive for Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Texas Tech fires football coach Mike Leach

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach directs his team against Texas A&M in this file photo from Oct. 18 in College Station, Texas.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach directs his team against Texas A&M in this file photo from Oct. 18 in College Station, Texas.

December 30, 2009, 12:21 p.m. Updated December 31, 2009, 12:00 a.m.


— Texas Tech fired Mike Leach on Wednesday after the coach took the school to court to try to overturn his suspension for alleged mistreatment of an injured player.

“I’m very sad to say there’s only one person to blame for this and it’s Mike Leach,” Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance told the AP.

Jerry Turner, vice chairman of the university system’s board of regents, said “other things” came to light during an investigation of Leach’s treatment of receiver Adam James. The sophomore alleged the coach twice confined him to a small, dark place after the player was diagnosed with a concussion.

Turner declined to elaborate about the other issues.

Leach was suspended Monday after he refused to agree to guidelines for dealing with players set forth by his bosses in a Dec. 23 letter.

When Leach decided to fight the university in court “in defiance” of his suspension, that’s why “we are where we are,” Turner said.

Leach was in San Antonio with his team, which is preparing for the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State on Saturday.

He left the team’s hotel while his interim replacement, defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill, was holding a news conference.

Approached by a reporter, Leach said no comment before being asked a question. Asked how he felt Texas Tech treated him throughout the last two weeks, Leach responded, “I think that’s apparent.”

Texas Tech’s official statement said Leach’s recent actions made it impossible for him to remain coach of the Red Raiders.

“In a defiant act of insubordination, coach Leach continually refused to cooperate in a meaningful way to help resolve the complaint. He also refused to obey a suspension order and instead sued Texas Tech University,” the statement said.

The school on Wednesday gave a termination letter to Leach’s attorney, Ted Liggett, minutes before the two sides were to appear in court for a hearing on the coach’s request to be allowed to lead his team in the Alamo Bowl.

Wide receiver Tramain Swindall said he agreed with the decision to fire Leach.

“I’m supporting Adam and what he’s doing because it’s the right thing to do,” Swindall told the AP in a telephone interview. “And so do most of the players. It wasn’t just about Adam. It was always a negative vibe.”

James is the son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James.

“We appreciate that the university conducted a fair and thorough investigation,” the James family said in a statement. “From the family’s point of view this has always been about the safety and well being of our son and of all the players on the team.”

Texas Tech officials provided Leach a letter setting out guidelines for dealing with student-athletes. Leach refused to sign it. The letter was included in court papers filed in response to his motion for a restraining order.

Among the guidelines:

• “Decisions regarding whether an injury warrants suspension from practice and/or play will be determined by a physician without pressure from you or your staff.”

• “There will be no retaliation against any student who as suffered an injury.”

Tech’s termination letter said Leach was fired with cause, meaning the university believes it does not owe Leach any of the remaining money left on a five-year, $12.7 million contract he agreed to in February. According to terms of the deal, Leach was due a $800,000 bonus on Dec. 31 if he were still the head coach at Texas Tech.

Liggett said he planned to file a lawsuit on Leach’s behalf against the school.


rdave 8 years, 5 months ago

I am not a fan of Leach...but this is plain BS. Copycat "whistle blower" from a wannabe starter.

Keith 8 years, 5 months ago

If you're going to cut and paste from ESPN, could you at least fix the typos?

Keith 8 years, 5 months ago

Pardon me, it could be from the AP.

Jonathan Kealing 8 years, 5 months ago


Yes, it's an AP article. Sorry for leaving the credit off. And for their typos as well.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Jimo 8 years, 5 months ago

They had to if they were going to avoid paying his bonus Friday.

Rick Aldrich 8 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Raider 8 years, 5 months ago

I guess that's what happens when you have a whiney kid who can't handle someone being "mean" to him. Run to daddy and cry, and daddy will make the man man go away.

This is a sad day for TX Tech. The AD should be ashamed of himself for firing Leach. And to all of the "time out" parents out there who think the firing was justified... they can kiss it too. That's what's wrong with our society today. Get your feelings hurt and you think you have the right to destroy someone's career. What a little punk Adam James AND his daddy are.

I just called and cancelled my donations to the alumni association and the Red Raider Club. I know several other alumni that have done the same.

Catbacker 8 years, 5 months ago

I just called and cancelled my donations to the alumni association and the Red Raider Club. I know several other alumni that have done the same. -- Raider

Pffft...I'm sure that will really hurt their coffers. Nice to know that "alumni" jump to conclusions against their university. Doubt Tech will miss your "support."

monkeyspunk 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh man, what a fantastic and motivated candidate Leach would have been at KU. The evil genius of college football. Damn!

JerkStore 8 years, 5 months ago

I wish KU would have acted as quickly faced with a similar situation.

Nonetheless, another abusive coach meets his deserved demise. Times are changing for the better.

rdave 8 years, 5 months ago

The Orig says: The Pony carries a lot of water in this State, Leach, and you don't carry jack s&!!! Do you here me, Leach!?!?!?

I don't know what state your talking about but he's nobody in Texas. Pony-boy and former Gov Bill Clements of TX also helped carry SMU to their death penalty.

Xraygal 8 years, 5 months ago

This just in NCAA abolishes all football programs. Players need not worry as they will now all be on the Synchronized Swim teams that will replace football. If the members get too much water in their eyes during practice or games.....all coaches will be standing poolside with fluffy, hot, color coordinated towels to wipe eyes.

Xraygal 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree with kubacker....Leach will own Texas Tech when the dust settles on this one.

Lacy Mohler 8 years, 5 months ago

So Leach is being Manginoed. They are doing a Mangino on Leach's butt. The actions against these two coaches will change contract negotiations in sports.

What is going to happen in college sports? Are coaches and players just going to stand around holding hands singing Kumbaya? I'm watching ESPN and they are not happy in Lubbock.

Xraygal 8 years, 5 months ago

New question just added to college coaches and recruiters list. "Mr. and Mrs. Doe was Little Johnny a "time-out" child or did you smack his butt if he needed it?"

Catbacker 8 years, 5 months ago

Please explain why Leach will own TTech? What do you two know that the media hasn't released? Do you not think that Tech might have actually done their homework before firing him?

Xraygal 8 years, 5 months ago

The party has already started at Michigan State.

garyr 8 years, 5 months ago

There is no way Mangino will be at Tx Tech. After getting fired for far worse here (supposedly). I haven't heard anything on who Tx Tech has their sights on. My thoughts are they might as well move the O-coord to head coach. Who else will be able to run the high powered offense, other than a Norm Chow type? Early word is that Florida may be tired of Urban Meyer on his leave of abscence. They may just give him his walking papers with a "We are Florida. We're not going to wait around for you, and when it's convenient for you". Early word, Mike Leach may be the Coach of the Florida Gators.

Just got another update, and I know it is not going to make the KU fans happy one bit. K-State has now mentioned the name Mike Leach to take over for Bill Snyder. Bill Snyder would have no problem putting the program in the hands of Leach.They now feel that there is a man in Leach who can bring their program back to prominence in the ranks of the Big XII and NCAA College football.

garyr 8 years, 5 months ago

Ok, Now Cincinnatti is now hot on his trail. Black and red, just like Tx Tech. Would not be suprised to see him in Cinci. They have a hight caliber offense, which he likes and knows alot about. Plus, they are going to possibly have an undefeated season. Would not be suprised to see him in a bearcats shirt next year. For the KU fans, hopefully this is where he will end up.

Catbacker 8 years, 5 months ago

garyr...What the hell are you talking about? Cincy already hired a coach, and Leach was begging to get out of Lubbock last year. If anybody wanted him...they could've had him already.

Xraygal 8 years, 5 months ago

Catbacker...since you asked. NO I do not think that TT did their homework before they fired him. The player in question James was injuried on Dec. 16th...that was only 2 weeks ago.

garyr 8 years, 5 months ago

Catbacker....It seems that you are a bit upset. With the chance to land a coach with a resume as good as Leach's, you should be happy. Bill Snyder is a legend, but who better to hand the reins over to than Mike Leach?

garyr 8 years, 5 months ago

And backer, Granted Butch Jones was hired as Cincinnatti's new head coach. Another Central Michigan man. But, who's to say. You're telling me that if Leach wants that job, he couldn't get it. That's just what I'm hearing. Cincinnatti is interested. It baffled me at first as well, but it could happen.

I know that I'm spelling Cincinnatti wrong, but I don't care. It's a nasty city.

Catbacker 8 years, 5 months ago

Not upset at all. I just find it funny that Leach is "supposedly" a hot commodity after being fired (rightly or wrongly not yet known), yet he couldn't convince anyone to get him out of Lubbock after last year...his best year ever. Does that make sense?

garyr 8 years, 5 months ago

Yeah. You have to understand that he really wanted the Washington job. That is really the only one that he went after. And, they weren't interested in him and his passing offense. That is why they hired Steve Sarkisian. He is a younger coach, that brings alot of fire. Although Leach does bring fire himself, he just didn't fit the mold that they were looking for in Washington. And although he is a good coach, there is a certain type of football that a school wants to play in order to hire Mike Leach. His type of ball will only work at certain schools, and I don't think Washington thought it would work for the Huskies. Hope this helps!

hail2oldku 8 years, 5 months ago

garyr - you're right about one thing, as a KU fan I would be concerned about Leach at KSU. He'd kill in the Big XII North right now.

As for Leach to Cincy, unless Butch Jones is holding out on a new contract they would be stupid for switching coaches before the announced new coach has a chance to step foot on campus. If Leach didn't pan out you'd never be able to attract another quality coach to your program.

Leach to Florida? Pass the dutchie gary, you've inhaled too much.

bd 8 years, 5 months ago

The TT AD must have a fat girlfriend! LOL!!!!!

irvan moore 8 years, 5 months ago

I think Tech made a very big mistake. They ain't gonna see another Mike Leach for a LONG time.

Richard Payton 8 years, 5 months ago

Maybe Mangino and Leach will now coach together at CSI investigation academy!

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

hellsbasement: That's just something silly he does to get negative attention from people who lean left.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 5 months ago

That's what happen when you sign recruits with famous dads who have "little league coach" syndrome:

and more on "the shed" and "the closet" Also copies of the coaches contract and filings for today's aborted court action:

parrothead8 8 years, 5 months ago

A kid with a concussion had to sit in a dark room twice, and that's abusive behavior? (The dark rooms, according to SI, were a workout room and an electrical closet the size of a 2-car garage.)

When I heard they were upset about how a kid with an injury had been treated, I figured Leach must have forced him to practice with the injury. Instead, Leach forced him NOT to practice with the injury. And that's abusive?

I'd hate to think what the kid would have done if they'd made him run laps for missing a block.

firemedic301 8 years, 5 months ago

Anybody feel that he would be a good pick as OC for the Chiefs? We need one and he needs a job....

Commenting has been disabled for this item.