An Open Letter to Mike Leach: Don't Leave Lubbock

John BaucumCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2007 Coach Leach,

I feel it's important to let you know that you're needed and wanted at Texas Tech.

There's a portion of the Texas Tech fanbase that seems to criticize you at every turn. I’m coming to you from the other side of the fence.

I think you and your staff are remarkable coaches.

I'd like to share a few reasons why I believe it's important for you to remain the head coach at Texas Tech until such time as you choose to retire...or become bored with NCAA football and decide to start dispelling myths and breaking records in the NFL.

First and foremost: You've ignited a fanbase.

Your innovative offense—with its ability to score on any defense, on any play, at any time—has rejuvenated the otherwise fickle Tech faithful.

Red Raiders fans have historically bought into the idea that Lubbock’s isolation from major metropolitan areas means Texas Tech can't recruit top talent. You and your coaching staff have nixed this idea faster than John Madden can finish a turkey leg.

Next, your demeanor, wit, and intelligence have captivated local and national media in a way that rivals all of the coaching icons of our time.

It's my belief that your discussion about officiating after the UT game in Austin generated mostly positive media attention, and could spur legitimate debate that will lead to change.

No other coach in the Big 12 has the combination of intellect, oratory skill, and intestinal fortitude that it takes to stand up for a cause the way you did that night.

Finally, I believe you're closer to taking Texas Tech to the next level than you would be at UCLA—or any other school that might attempt to hire you away from us.

I understand that other programs' interest in you is a good thing. It means that you're successful enough to earn national respect.

That said, with the number of returning starters at Tech in 2008—the offensive line, the best QB in the Big 12, the best WR in the nation, and a young but talented defense—the Raiders are closer to winning a major conference championship than they have been since their Border Conference days in the 1940s.

Turning a mediocre program into a title contender in one of the nation's toughest conferences is a monumental accomplishment. For that, you should be commended.

And you should be here to see the fruits of your labor develop.

You’ve assembled a wealth of talent—but your players need their leader to succeed. A team of top sled dogs wouldn't do well without the lead dog. You are Texas Tech’s lead dog—the one that has the courage to move when others are scared or unsure, and the one that keeps plugging away when the others begin to slack off.

In closing, I want to reiterate that Texas Tech needs you to stay.

I didn’t write to you to beg or plead. I simply wanted to let you know that there are many of us who support everything you're doing.

I'll be happy for you if you move on to another school and lead them to greatness—but if you leave, I'll always wonder how much more you could have done if you'd stayed at Texas Tech

In any event, whether you leave this offseason, next year, 10 years from now, or never, I'll be a lifelong fan of yours.

Good luck in the Gator Bowl, and Merry Christmas!



John Baucum                                                                                                           

Texas Tech Class of 2003 and 2007                                                                            Red Raider Fan and Sword Swinger