Mike Leach Not Interested in Texas Tech Return: 'They Didn't Pay Me Last Time'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2018

Washington State head coach Mike Leach watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Don't expect Mike Leach to consider coaching for Texas Tech ever again, even with the school currently having a vacancy at head coach. He's still angry about his departure from Texas Tech in 2009, claiming the school didn't pay him what he was owed for that season.

Joel D. Anderson of ESPN spoke to the current Washington State head coach:

Joel D. Anderson @byjoelanderson

Ask Mike Leach, who graduated from Pepperdine Law School, to explain concept of “sovereign immunity” & how it applied to his efforts to recoup his 09 salary from Tech. "It wouldn’t happen in any other state. If you’re more curious about it you can read it in 'Swing your Sword.’"

In June 2017, Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today explained the dispute between Leach and the Red Raiders:

"After his controversial firing by Tech in 2009, the former Red Raiders football coach still wants the school to pay him what he says he’s owed for that year, when Tech had one of its best seasons ever at 9-4. By his calculations, he’s owed about $2.5 million, including $1.6 million in guaranteed income from his television and radio shows and other marketing deals."

Leach spoke about his ongoing disagreement with Texas Tech at that time last year, too:

"This thing won't really go away. And it'll never go away until this thing is settled. And it should be settled, because why should the future generation bear the black eye and the cloud that their university cheated their most successful coach in history? And why should I bear that, some of the 10 most productive years of my career? I was cheated out of my salary, and all the great memories that I, fans, players and coaches had, are diminished."

Leach sued Texas Tech over the disagreement but lost in court after a Texas judge held that Texas Tech had sovereign immunity and couldn't be sued for damages.

Leach was fired by Texas Tech in Dec. 2009 after wide receiver Adam James claimed that Leach twice locked him in small, confined spaces as a punishment. Texas Tech officials also said at the time that Leach did not cooperate with their investigation of the incident or with the terms of his initial suspension. 

Leach denied he ever ordered James to be locked in a shed or utility closet, instead saying he had instructed trainers to have James—who was dealing with a concussion and sensitive to light—be put somewhere dark.

Regardless, the incident ushered in the end of the Leach era at Texas Tech, where he went 84-43 and led the team to nine straight bowl games. Based on his latest comments, it's hard to imagine him returning to the Red Raiders.