Mike Leach, aged 54, who is the head coach for Washington State Cougars football team, has been named Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
The American college football coach, who has been handling the Washington State Cougars football team, has been named the Pac-12’s Coach of the Year along with Stanford’s David Shaw. The Pac-12 announced football players and co-coaches of the year last week.
The Washington State Cougars finished fifth in the Pac-12 North preseason poll. But with the help of Leach, the team was led to an 8-4 overall record and a 6-3 record in the Pac-12. These are Cougars’ best marks since the 2003 in WSU. The team went 10-3 and 6-2, respectively back in 2003.
The Cougars has been selected fifth in the Pac-12 North Division’s preseason media poll and has seen victories over Rutgers, Oregon, Arizona and No. 18 UCLA. Their win at Oregon was the first and by far the best against University of California, Los Angeles since the 2006 season. The Cougars had not been able to defeat the Ducks since 2007.
Moreover, the Cougars were successful in achieving a top 20 national ranking after their victory over Colorado. This is their first Top 20 ranking since 2003 for the WSU.
Talking about the football team and Leach, the team led the nation with a 397.0 average passing yards per game and this has helped Leach’s team stay on number 20 in the Advance Placement scores.
The successful coach also became part of the 100-win club this very season with the Cougars’ winning over the Ducks at Oregon during overtime. Last month, he was named one of the semifinalists for the George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, one out of 18 coaches named.
With him being named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Leach became the very first Washington State University coach to be honored with the Pac-12 Coach of the Year title since 2003. Bill Doba was the last one from WSU to be honored with this award.
Besides being named the George Munger National Coach of the Year in 2008, he also received the Woody Hayes Award, Howie Long/Fieldturf National Coach of the Year, and Big 12 Coach of the Year in that same season.
Besides the Coach of the year title, Pac-12 also announced names of several other players and coaches under different categories. The list is as follows.
Offensive Player of the Year – Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Freshman Offensive Player of the Year - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Freshman Defensive Player of the Year - Cameron Smith, LB, USC
Co-Coach of the Year – Mike Leach, Washington State
Co-Coach of the Year – David Shaw, Stanford
Scholar Athlete of the Year – Mike Bercovici, QB, Arizona State
Leach is married to his wife, Sharon Leach, with whom he has four children; Janeen Leach, Kim Leach, Cody Leach, Kiersten Leach. This NFL legend receives an annual salary of $2.2 million.