Mike Leach: The Perfect Coaching Candidate for the Minnesota Gophers?
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Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster became the first coaching casualty of the 2010 season after his Gophers team failed to come up with a win at Purdue. The Gophers fell to the Boilermakers 28-17, which dropped their record to 1-6.
Brewster was not able to deliver on an ultimatum he was reportedly given by the Minnesota athletic administration—beat Purdue or else.
After the loss, he was relieved of his duties the following day.
The coach, who came in promising a revitalization of the program to go along with the brand new $300 million TCF Bank Stadium which was opened in 2009, was unable to live up to his own lofty goals of winning the conference and taking the team to the Rose Bowl.
Brewster initially bounced back from an ugly 1-11 introductory season in 2007 to guide the Gophers to consecutive Insight Bowl appearances, winning neither time. But it was his 1-6 beginning to this season, which included a home loss to FCS South Dakota, that finally did him in.
Even though expectations weren’t particularly high for the 2010 campaign, it became quite clear pretty quick that Brewster had lost his team’s attention and wasn’t the right leader moving forward.
So who is that right leader for the future?
One name that seems to be getting an awful lot of attention for the job is former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.
Leach, who was dismissed from Texas Tech following allegations of player mistreatment, has been out of football since last December. But the coach had made it quite obvious he’s looking for a re-entry.
Would the Minnesota Gophers be a good fit for Leach?
The short answer is yes!
Leach’s spread offensive passing attack would certainly be a bit of change of pace from the traditional pound-it-out, run-oriented style of offenses that are traditionally seen in the Big Ten. But as they say, sometimes change is good.
If Leach could make it work so successfully in the Big 12 conference for all those years, frustrating the likes of Texas and Oklahoma, he absolutely could make it work in the Big Ten.
The focus then becomes recruiting. It’s something that Tim Brewster was fairly successful at during his time as coach, as he did bring a good amount of talented recruits like Adam Weber, Brandon Green, MarQuies Gray, Anthony Jacobs, Michael Carter and others. But it failed to materialize into success on the actual field of play.
Leach’s main recruiting areas from his time with the Red Raiders mainly center around Texas and the Southwestern region of the United States, so it would be an adjustment trying to recruit the Great Lakes region of the Big Ten.
It’s been shown though that great high school athletes have a desire to play in an exciting offense like Leach’s, and there’s no doubt that coach could make some substantial inroads in Big Ten country in a hurry.
The bottom line is that it’s all simply speculation at this point, but my gut feeling is that Leach will be coaching somewhere next season. The only question is where?
There are likely more jobs that will open up as the season wears on, and there’s a good chance a more prominent position could be available down the line. Although there’s no guarantee that Leach will be a highly coveted candidate after his messy departure from Texas Tech.
This Minnesota team is a more talented one than they’ve shown so far this season and with a brand new stadium to sell to recruits, this is a head coaching position that looks pretty enticing.
If the job were to be offered to Leach at some point, it's one that he would definitely have to consider.
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