Mike Leach has become everyone’s favorite wacky coach on the Washington State sideline, and he’s apparently caught the eye of Tennessee athletic director John Currie. Several reports late Thursday have linked Leach to Tennessee with various degrees of progress.
It’s been tough sledding for Tennessee to this point with several coaches — including Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State, Dave Doeren of NC State, Jeff Brohm of Purdue and David Cutcliffe of Duke — turning down the position that was initially offered to Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.
Leach led the Cougars to a 9-3 record this year and has posted a combined record of 38-37 at Washington State, including at least eight wins in each of his last three seasons. He has become a bit more well-known for his quirky personality than his coaching prowess in the past year, but it would still be an intriguing hire for the Vols nonetheless.
The progress of a potential deal is, as of now, unknown.
Gridiron Now’s John Brice reports that Currie interviewed Leach, among other candidates, in the Los Angeles area on Thursday. Newy Scruggs of NBC Dallas/Fort Worth reports that the details of a contract are being worked out, and an agreement could be announced as early as Friday. Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel has only indicated that Leach’s name is “picking up steam” in the Tennessee search, whereas Kevin Sumlin’s is fading. Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman says the aforementioned meeting “went very well” and insinuates that further developments are forthcoming.
In a way, it’s poetic that a search this insane would end with college football’s crazy uncle, should it come to that. Tennessee is coming off of its first season in school history with more than seven losses, as it went 4-8 with an 0-8 record in SEC play.