Washington State took a big step toward bowl eligibility, moving to 5-5 with a win over Arizona in Week 12, and as the Cougars continue to show promise for the future, they decided to show support for the coach who is leading the resurgence.
WSU announced Monday that it has extended the contract of head coach Mike Leach through 2018, via WSUCougars.com.
Athletic director Bill Moos showed his support for Leach with the extension and explained why he wanted to ensure his place in Pullman for years to come:
Mike Leach has done a fabulous job in his short time at Washington State. Extending his contract through the 2018 season will ensure a bright future for Cougar football. He has elevated the program on the field, in the community and in the classroom. I believe he is among the best college football coaches in America and is a fantastic fit in Pullman.
Leach also made a statement, showing his appreciation for Moos' reinforcement while also affirming his commitment to the program:
I’d like to thank Bill Moos and President Floyd for extending my contract and giving me the opportunity to coach at Washington State. The support we have received from students, fans, alumni and the administration has been tremendous and by the end of this year we will have facilities that rival anyone in the country.
As I've said many times, my family and I are extremely happy at Washington State and love living in Pullman.
Wazzu is clearly now under the rise under Leach. The Cougars have already matched their highest win total since 2006 and could earn their first bowl berth since 2003.
Leach inherited a WSU program that notched just four Pac-12 wins in four years under previous coach Paul Wulff. Leach's Cougars finished 3-9 overall and 1-8 in conference play last year and are 3-4 in the Pac-12 so far this year, already matching Wulff's four league wins.
It is no surprise that Leach has been a hit in Pullman, considering his successful tenure at Texas Tech. He didn't have a single losing season in his 10-year stint in Lubbock but was fired due to off-field incidents. Including that tenure, Leach has a 92-57 record as a head coach.
Wazzu has two regular-season contests remaining: Nov. 23 at home against Utah and a Nov. 29 trip to rival Washington