Sports

Leaches have fond memories of BYU

<!-- WSU logo, Cougs logo, Cougars logo for use with homepageleadpromo spots --> (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Mike Leach just wanted to watch “Gunsmoke.”

Or, at least, that’s what he wound up doing when he’d wander over to the unit where his now-wife, Sharon, lived in the King Henry Apartments near Brigham Young’s campus in Provo, Utah.

This was in the early 1980s, when Leach was an undergrad at BYU. He and Sharon were just friends at that point, though they clearly had different television programming preferences.

“You’d go there and they’d be watching ‘M*A*S*H’ or something like that, and I’d change the channel to watch ‘Gunsmoke,’” Leach said. “Can you imagine watching ‘M*A*S*H’ or even ‘Saturday Night Live’ when ‘Gunsmoke’s’ on? It’s almost sacrilegious to anything American and I tried to get them back on track, which I think I did successfully. Sharon was a bit of a tough case so I had to marry her where I could keep an eye on her a lot more frequently.”

Leach insists he’s not getting caught up in the nostalgia of returning to his alma mater Thursday to coach Washington State in his first game since 2009. But when asked, the memories begin to surface.

For Sharon, too.

She remembers using the fact that her sister married one of Leach’s former roommates to introduce herself to the athletic, opinionated guy from Cody, Wyo.

She remembers the coupon books Leach would buy. Anyone who’s attended a major university can likely relate. Leach always had them around, always searching for the best two-for-one meal deals in and around the BYU campus.

This is how Sharon remembers it: Before they started dating, they’d usually spend their days separately, with Leach stopping by at night to watch television, or whatever it was college students did in the early ’80s.

“It wasn’t until he got hungry one night when he said, ‘Hey, let’s go get something to eat,’” Sharon said, laughing. “He probably had the two-for-one coupons and I was the freebie.

“A lot of guys you meet in college, they’re not really sure what they want to do,” she said. “He basically had two things and it was either a lawyer or a coach, and he knew his life would head one of those directions. So I kind of liked the idea that he had a plan and he was working toward that goal. And he never lacked any confidence. He felt like he could do anything as good as the next guy, or better.”

It’s funny how lives can turn cyclical. The two married and have four children together, and their oldest daughter, Janeen, also attended BYU, and also lived in the King Henry Apartments, just like Mom and Dad.

“The campus was quite similar to when I went to school there,” Leach said of visiting Provo when his daughter attended.

He isn’t the only member of WSU’s coaching staff with ties to BYU. Outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons played linebacker there from 1992-1996, but he said he isn’t interested in warm, fuzzy feelings on this trip.

“You kind of get an idea of their history because you were a part of it once before,” Simmons said. “Other than that, it’s (just) an opportunity to go out and play a game.

“The stands will be packed and the crowd will be loud. It makes for what you see on television as a kid watching college football.”



Click here to comment on this story »





Blogs

Which holiday honors Native Americans?

The Spokane City Council will probably spend part of Monday’s meeting arguing whether changing Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples Day” is an exercise in cultural sensitivity or political correctness. In ...



North Idaho hiking, paddling trips continue

GROUP TRIPS -- Hiking, paddling and birding in the Panhandle are featured in the 10th annual Summer Adventure Series of group outings led by the Idaho Conservation League. The 10 ...


Weekend Wild Card — 8.27-28.16

High school and college football are here, so we can no longer pretend. Summer is going, going, almost gone. Yet, the weather remains nice. And the tourists are about to ...



Where does the money go?

sponsored You’ve probably heard of co-ops: food co-ops, childcare co-ops, housing co-ops, energy co-ops.



Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile