UMass Football Head Coach Candidates — Mike Leach

RDM runs through his take on the candidates for the open UMass football head coach position.

I will jump right into my favorite candidate. Shortly after UMass announced the more to the MAC I wondered if our current coaches had what it takes to make this move. After barely beating Holy Cross and URI, and getting embarrassed in Chestnut Hill, I had my opinion formulated. As Leach made his media rounds publicizing his new book, my dream candidate become very clear.

Mike Leach was Texas Tech’s head coach through the 2009 season. After some issues arose, he was chased out of Lubbock. The Texas Tech program has not been the same since.

The potential issues, and the fact that he has been out of coaching for a few seasons, are clearly scaring off BCS conference teams. Namely, for example, Maryland. The University of Maryland was looking at him after last season, but went with Uconn’s Randy Edsall instead.

I still find Leach to be a long shot, but the fact that Matty V. over at the Gazette has the same thing in mind intrigues me. Maybe a job in the offensively minded MAC will be enough to intrigue Leach.

Image an offensive mastermind like Leach in the Mid-American Conference… with the proper talent in place, that would be a formidable offense to say the least.

On a personal level, Leach has those skeletons from Lubbock. However, he is no country, Texas bumpkin. He has a JD degree and is actually from California. Moreover, it is interesting to point out that Leach has no relevant college football playing experience. He is one of only a few successful coach coaches that fall into that category.

UMass must take a risk with this hire. It’s the form that risk takes that will dictate the programs success going forward. The risk might be to hire an unproven coach without FBS experience. I’d rather take the “risk” of hiring a proven coach with a bit of “baggage”. That is a small price to pay to get a legitimate coach to lead the Minutemen into the MAC.

A Mike Leach hire would not just be news in Massachusetts. It would not just make headlines through the MAC pipeline. This would be a lead story on ESPN, nationally.

As I paint him, Leach is nearly the perfect candidate. However, admittedly, he is a reach. Whether he would be open to the idea of a head coaching gig in the MAC is a huge question mark. It’s going to be a quick no, or Leach will become the top candidate. This one will be vetted out quickly.

Here are some links regarding Mike Leach:

[Candidate via The Daily Hampshire Gazette]