Posts tagged: Mike Leach
On Wednesday, Washington State coach Mike Leach, quarterback Connor Halliday and linebacker Darryl Monroe had lots of time to speak to reporters without side distractions such as preparing for football games. In the relaxed atmosphere at Paramount Studios the Cougars opened up about a variety of topics once they were done with TV interviews.
Follow the jump for notes, quotes and stories from Pac-12 media day.
Mike Leach addressed the media here in Hollywood this afternoon. The format has been changed from previous seasons, where the coaches and players simply came up for their “podium session” group by group, and were asked inane, “off the wall” questions that nobody used in their actual stories. This year the coach and each player were available at separate podiums for 40 minutes. The verdict seems to be that the questions were a little better (we still got most of the good stuff at lunch with the players and coaches afterwards) but that there were many repeat questions as reporters moved around the room. The Pac-12 was good enough to transcribe the interviews with the coaches for us, and we've passed along Leach's after the jump.
Follow the jump for videos, courtesy of the Pac-12, of Mike Leach at Pac-12 media day.
The Pac-12 is holding its annual gathering of coaches, players and reporters tomorrow and Thursday. Media Day (or Media Days, in this case) is a nice chance of us reporters to speak with coaches and players from different schools and send back a few stories and notebooks for you all to peruse.
More importantly, however, it signals the end of the offseason. You will start to see a lot more Washington State football news around here, and not all of it recruiting. We'll get back in the swing of things with our morning links, and keep an eye out for some live chats.
While the offseason was slow, there were some NCAA and WSU developments that will have an impact on the upcoming months. In case you have been hibernating since the end of last football season and are just now leaving your man, woman or bear-cave, follow the jump to see what you missed.
Mike Leach recently wrapped up a chat with fans, commonly known as an “Ask Me Anything” or “AMA” on Reddit.com. Here is the transcript if you'd like to read through it. Missed it or didn't get your question asked? Don't worry, it looks like you'll have another chance soon.
Just as a reminder that Coach Mike Leach will return for his 2nd AMA with just /r/CFB (3rd overall) in a few weeks: pic.twitter.com/ZU8rxeZzsP— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) May 21, 2014
We've got a few highlights from the session, after the jump.
Have you ever had a question you wanted to ask Washington State football coach Mike Leach but haven't had the chance? Maybe you live too far from Pullman, maybe you were too nervous. Maybe you just had so many questions that sports information director Bobby Alworth chased you away from the coach/author/hunter — he can't spend too much time away from the recruiting trail, you know.
Well at 3 p.m. today you'll have a chance to ask Leach anything, literally anything. With his new book on Geronimo publishing recently, the WSU coach is hosting his second AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit.com. Here is a link to the page and here is a link to his previous AMA. We should also note that some of the language on the site may not be suitable for minors, work places, or readers with delicate eyeballs.
Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior by Mike Leach is now available for purchase both online and in stores. It is the Washington State football coach's second book, having published Swing Your Sword, an autobiography, in 2012.
His newest book is a biography of Geronimo, the Apache chieftain who fought against the Mexican and Texan governments for decades during the Apache Wars. I asked Leach about his writing process — something I take particular interest in as someone who writes for a living myself — and he said that book writing was a great way to explore a topic he has always had an interest in.
“You get to learn a lot more about it, even more about it, which is exciting, the research part is exciting, the first couple drafts are exciting. The last couple drafts where you view each word to essentially be written on a tombstone, so to speak, because once it's out it's out forever, then you're kind of picking and choosing this word, that word, this comma and the other comma,” Leach said. “The last readings aren't quite as fun because you aren't reading a story you're obsessing over the little stuff and you're not going to get it perfect but you want to give the best effort you can.”
When you write something it's very personal — every word is your own. I often find that it's hard to go back to a long piece and reread it myself. So I asked Leach if he ever sits down and reads his own books.
“I probably will several years later. You move on from it,” Leach said. “And then if you work on it something that long and that hard, going back to it's not appealing the first year or two. And then you get to go back to it every time you do a book signing or that type of thing.”
The publisher's book description is after the jump.
The Cougars came into the offseason with a number of question marks after their New Mexico Bowl loss. Who would take over for departing All-American Deone Bucannon? How will the Cougars compensate for the loss of three starters on the offensive line?
Fifteen spring practices later and many of those questions have been answered. Follow the jump to find out what we learned this spring:
From Pullman — The Cougars held their 15th and final spring football practice of the year on Tuesday. That means no more football until fall camp in August. So that's not going to be fun. Our last practice report for far too long is after the jump.
From Pullman — As we noted in our practice report, prep quarterback Tyler Hilinski attended Washington State's football practice on Thursday and evidently he liked what he saw, making a verbal commitment to play for WSU according to a Rivals.com report($). Hilinski is rated the nation's 14th best quarterback by Rivals and is a four-star prospect, the second four star QB landed by Mike Leach at WSU, along with Tyler Bruggman in 2013.
Hilinski is WSU's third recruit in the class of 2015, along with defensive tackle Thomas Toki, who is also currently on campus, and cornerback Austin Joyner.
The 6-foot-3, 187 pound quarterback plays for Upland High School in Upland, Calif., and also held a scholarship offer from Utah State. He will likely be the only quarterback recruit in the class. The Cougars have taken one scholarship quarterback in each class under Mike Leach, starting with Austin Apodaca in 2012, who has since transferred, and then Bruggman in 2013 and Peyton Bender in last year's class.
From Pullman — The clouds broke for the final Washington State football practice before the spring game. The coaches have split up the roster into two teams and are hoping for as competitive a game as possible. I will have those rosters for you sometime tomorrow morning. It wasn't a very newsy practice today with the teams split up and the Cougars in just helmets (and jerseys, pants, etc. But my point is that they were not in pads).
The practice report is after the jump.
From Pullman — Rain, rain, go away. Today's torrent drove reporters and athletic support staff into the upper bleachers to seek refuge beneath the overhang. Refuge was not to be found. I could go on about the weather but then we'd both be in a stormy mood.
Practice report is after the jump.
From Pullman — The Cougars donned all of their pads yesterday and the result was a physical practice, complete with live tackling. Here is our story and practice report. Yesterday we also posted a video tour of the new Football Operations Building, guided by linebacker Darryl Monroe. Don't forget to change your calendars to reflect the new Nevada game date … WSU's Jason Monda has been drafted twice and decided that he won't go for a third.
Washington dismissed a defensive back, likely because of an altercation with a teammate … Oregon's best receiver is now a spring casualty … Oregon State's new offensive coordinator is becoming more comfortable in Corvallis.
Don't forget to join us at 11 a.m. for a live chat.
From Pullman — Washington State finally put on full pads on Thursday. The coaches put on headsets and officials were in uniform. The reason for the extra accoutrements? The Cougars had their first live-tackling session of spring. More on that after the jump.
From Pullman — Washington State's youth in the secondary has been apparent throughout spring. But on Tuesday the offense worked on deep throws and the inexperience of WSU's defensive backs was particularly apparent.
“We went downfield the whole time,” coach Mike Leach said after practice. “I can’t say it was their best day, I don’t think they necessarily regressed. They keep improving but we put a lot of pressure on them today and I thought the offense was pretty sharp.”
But hey, the wide receivers had a good day.
Our practice report is after the jump.
The Cougars didn't scrimmage on Saturday, but still had a spirited practice to close out the first third of spring. Here's our practice report and a story on Washington State's young defense. In case you missed it we had a noter 5 Questions video, this time with special teams coordinator Eric Russell. There was some blue news for the Cougars yesterday when Spokane prep quarterback Brett Rypien, nephew of Mark, decided to take his prodigious talents to Boise State. But the baseball team just keeps on winning.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott talked about the unionization movement in college football … Here's a look at what Oregon is up to this spring … Why, even the Huskies are practicing … Cal had a big day from a little guy … USC is waltzing through spring.
Practice four is in the books for WSU and we saw some good work out of the offense. The defense had some moments as well, but not enough to avoid up downs.
“I thought they battled back,” coach Mike Leach said after practice. “I thought defense, that’s the biggest thing is everybody’s out here trading blows and the result is everybody gets better, quicker.”
Our practice report is after the jump.
From Pullman — Just like that the Cougars are 20 percent of the way through spring football practice. They're also just a few hours away from officially introducing Ernie Kent as the new men's basketball coach. Keep an eye out for our coverage from that. Today we'll be having another live chat at noon to talk about both football and basketball. Brush up with yesterday's practice report and our story on WSU's visitor. We've also got our weekly college baseball notebook featuring coach Donnie Marbut's return.
From Pullman — The pads went on Tuesday’s and the Washington State football team had easily its most spirited practice of the spring. There was constant hollering from the sidelines, a few light scuffles broke out and the coaches didn’t seem to mind a bit.
Our practice report is after the jump.
From Pullman — The Cougars were up early Saturday morning for their second practice of spring football. Here is our practice report and a story on the offensive line. More notes and quotes from practice after the jump.