Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Sports >  WSU football

Washington State interim AD: Mike Leach ‘will be coaching’ in Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl

Dec. 3, 2017 Updated Sun., Dec. 3, 2017 at 6:10 p.m.

Washington State coach Mike Leach watches from the sideline during the second half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Colorado in Pullman. Leach is a double-nominee in John Blanchette’s annual lampoon of the Oscars. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)
Washington State coach Mike Leach watches from the sideline during the second half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Colorado in Pullman. Leach is a double-nominee in John Blanchette’s annual lampoon of the Oscars. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)

PULLMAN – Washington State interim athletic director John Johnson fully expects that Mike Leach will be on the sideline with the Cougars when they square off with Michigan State for the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 in San Diego (6 p.m., FS1).

It had been reported by multiple outlets that Leach met with then-Tennessee athletic director John Currie last Thursday to talk about the Volunteers’ coaching vacancy and some speculated that the parties were close to striking a deal that would make Leach the new coach in Knoxville.

Those rumors died quickly, Leach returned to Pullman that night and Currie was suspended by UT the following day.

“Mike’s our coach today and we expect him to be our coach for the bowl game,” Johnson said Sunday during a conference call. “I know he’s excited about playing in the Holiday Bowl, as is the team. He is our coach and will be coaching there.”

Johnson has only exchanged text messages with Leach since reports emerged Thursday about the possibility of WSU’s coach leaving. WSU hadn’t publicly addressed the rumors before Sunday, when Johnson spoke with reporters on the phone to discuss the Holiday Bowl.

“Of course he’s been busy recruiting and I’ve had other responsibilities as well,” Johnson said. “But we’ve communicated via text, yes.”

Leach will be taking the Cougars to their fourth bowl game in his six-year stint as the WSU coach – and the fourth in the last five years.

In a school press release, Leach said “We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to play Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl. Go Cougs.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Cougs newsletter

Get the latest Cougs headlines delivered to your inbox as they happen.