Report: Mike Leach Interested in Texas Tech Return After Kliff Kingsbury Firing

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars looks on trailing 39-36 to the USC Trojans during the fourth quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Washington State head coach Mike Leach is reportedly interested in a return to Texas Tech after the team fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury on Saturday, according to Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt will have to decide whether he also wants Leach back in charge of the football program, but a large group of Texas Tech boosters are planning to convince the AD to make the call.

"The people who are supporting him, it’s not just one or two," a source told Williams. "It’s like a hoard of people and maybe eight or 10 that are like million-dollar-plus donors. It’s some serious folks."

Leach was 84-43 in 10 seasons at Texas Tech from 2000-09, producing a winning season each year.

But his tenure came to an abrupt end when he was fired in 2009 after alleged poor treatment of a player who suffered a concussion. The controversial end featured a lawsuit and a dispute over his lost salary nearly a decade later.

The 57-year-old has been successful with Washington State, producing a 48-40 record in seven years, including a 10-2 mark in 2018. His success on the field would make this a home run hire for the Red Raiders, but his history with Texas Tech might make it a tough sell.

Meanwhile, Dana Holgorsen is also considered a candidate to return to Texas Tech after serving on Leach's staff from 2000-07. He has a 61-40 record in eight years at West Virginia.

Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, Utah State coach Matt Wells, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Memphis coach Mike Norvell are also considered candidates to replace Kingsbury, with Leavitt and Wells the two most likely options, per Williams.

After three straight losing seasons, there will be plenty of pressure on the next head coach to turn things around in a hurry.