PULLMAN – Mike Leach, already viewed by some Washington State fans as the “designated savior” of Cougars football, will make his first public appearance as WSU’s new coach at noon today at a press conference that will be open to the public.
The press conference, which will be held at the WSU student union building, may be viewed for free at wsucougars.com. Leach is also scheduled to meet with the press (but not the public) at 6:30 tonight at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
A WSU spokesperson said Monday that more than 800 season tickets have been sold since the announcement of Leach’s hiring was made last Wednesday. In addition, the Cougars have received $300,000 in donations to the athletic department.
Leach, who has worked in broadcasting the past two years, produced winning records and bowl teams all 10 years he coached Texas Tech (2000-09). Six of Leach’s teams led the nation in passing and/or total offense.
The Cougars have not posted a winning record or gone to a bowl game since 2003.
None of Leach’s assistant coaches have been announced. However, new Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said Arizona recruiting coordinator Dave Emerick has left the Wildcats to join Leach at WSU. Emerick handled recruiting and various off-field duties for Leach at Texas Tech.
Leach, known for his colorful, sometimes forceful personality, made a few enemies and plenty of friends during his time at Texas Tech.
The overwhelming majority of comments on the Lubbock newspaper’s website have been highly supportive of Leach since his hiring at WSU was announced.
Some Tech fans have vowed to attend WSU games, purchase Cougars merchandise and/or make donations to the Cougars in support of Leach. The hiring of Leach has brought rare amounts of national media attention to WSU.