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Posted at 6:46 PM ET, 12/20/2010

Mike Leach: Sally Jenkins' take on the man

By Washington Post Sprots

Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson acknowledged this afternoon that former Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach was on the list of potential replacements for Ralph Friedgen as the Terrapins' next football coach. At least three people with knowledge of the situation have told us that it's much further along than that, and that Leach is expected to be named head coach.

Time will tell. But for now, here's Sally Jenkins' very interesting take on Leach from a column she wrote a year ago this month.

By Washington Post Sprots  | December 20, 2010; 6:46 PM ET
 
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Comments

Wonder what Leach would do to some of the Koolaid drinking woosies who worship at the mediocrity hall of fame? I can't wait for this guy in College Park. Think our admin handled this thing badly. Look at Texas Tech. They are the losers, along with Craig James of SMU death penalty fame and ESPN.

Posted by: petecard | December 20, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Coach Leach can replace the "Top 10 Graveyard" with his own dark shed to hold undesireables!

Said it before, will say it again, Welcome aboard, Captain Leach!

Talk to any senior alum about the early 1950s around CP. Pretty amazing stuff! It can and will happen again.

Posted by: MerlinTerps | December 20, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

If they hire him it will be a bad decision. Wait and see. he attendance problem had more to do with a poorly run athletic department and a new University image than it does with Coach Friedgen. Leach is not a Maryland kind of coach, couldn't hold a candle to Ralph or Bobby Ross, the last two great coaches they had. I'll be happy to shift my support to wherever Ralph coaches next and away from Maryland. - 1982 Alumnus

Posted by: bfjam | December 20, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Another dc writer "priming" us for the Leach fellow.Sounds like the search committee is just going to be a charade,let's be frank about it.You know,there's more Terp fans beyond the confines of dc than some people think.I'll tell you what-this fellow Leach will be scrutinized more finely than Ralph ever was in the football program.He's not going to get a lot of wiggle room from many upset fans(I forgot,we're fickle)right from his beginning,if his hiring will be the case.And Mr. Plank will be held responsible for the foibles of his coach,I'll guarantee that much about his role in ousting the ACC Coach of the year-2010.

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 20, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to take this time to say Coach Leach won't dissapoint your University if your AD hires him. He's been a winner from the time he showed up in Lubbock. Sadly, I wanted him to stay in the Big 12 arena and even more with Tx Tech. We sorely miss him here. It's been a dissapointing year for Tech. Not too many happy Radiers. I love watch the Air Raid, and look forward to seeing him Coach Again. I wish him and your University the best of luck.

Posted by: ortegonj | December 20, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Acc Coach of the Year-2010... that's laughable, he was the same coach who had the most losses in school history the year before or did you forget that??..Beamer should have been coach of the year.

Posted by: TheTruthReallyHurts | December 20, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Good article by SJ. Definitely gives people an idea of what to expect if he is hired.

Ralph was definitely one of the good guys but with lagging attendance/fan support, (not to mention medicore play between the lines) what else did people expect? 10 years, and their was no hint that he would get the program to the next level.

A change was needed and Franklin was not the answer. Thank you Vandy for unclogging the log jam at HC here at CP. If not for them, more medicore play loomed ahead.

It will take an extraordinary coach to make this team relevant again in the ACC much less a top 25 team with BCS hopes.

Good luck to whomever gets the job.

Posted by: jrealty | December 20, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to "the truth really hurts",writers and coaches of the ACC qualify who wins their support for coach of the year;diss them for their recognizing Ralph Freigden,moron.Another Leach coolaid drinker?Too many beers tonight?

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 20, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad we now have an AD who wants to take MD athletics from slightly above average to elite. Kudos to Anderson for that!

Of course we all know what will be really funny. When in a year or 2 when Fargo1 does some Fox News revisionist-style history and tells everyone on here how he was one of the 1st ones to say how excited was that Leach would be coming aboard. We all know that's what's gonna happen.

Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 20, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Naming a college coach who had past success with Texas athletes does'nt guarantee elite status with eastern style football.These Leach supporters,who have every right to feel good right now,are putting your cart before the horse has even left the barn!Let's see if this man passes the backround smell test before he signs on the bottom line.

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 20, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Watch and/or read and learn (60 Minutes piece on Mike Leach):

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/31/60minutes/main4694714.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;1

Posted by: MerlinTerps | December 20, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

As a part Texan - ya'll have no idea how lucky you are to have Leach interested.

Posted by: ravens1123 | December 20, 2010 6:06 PM

how is someone part Texan? Which part?

As someone who is disappointed in this whole affair, I have to say minhle1 has been persuasive from the side of those who support it. we have a big stadium to fill. Maybe we are not heading in the direction of an elite program, but at least that SEEMS to be the ADept's goal. No, I still am not happy about it, but I see WHY it happened.

Look, one additional win would have changed everything. It did not happen. Change happens. I know cowboys fans who still have not forgiven the firing of Landry. Hindsight will tell. It does not taste too good right now, but who knows? Winning hides all sins and makes us forget past transgressions (no tangent on Mike Vick here).

But the flip side is, I will become more like Petecard and TFMA in my approach to the FB team in that I will expect them to win huge next year and the years thereafter with high graduation rates relative to the rest of the NCAA.

I'm definitely not one to villianize a guy for being a little eccentric so if it is Leach, I'll keep an open mind on him. Besides, Jesse Craig James is probably pissed that co-eds weren't farmed out like an escort service for the players like they were back in his days at SMU (y'know, when they got the death penalty).

But a lot of my open-mindedness (as opposed to the abject disappointment I was feeling about the situation) is due to minhle's posts on he matter.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | December 20, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

But the flip side is, I will become more like (edit) DTD/PMP, Petecard and TFMA in my approach to the FB team in that I will expect them to win huge next year and the years thereafter with high graduation rates relative to the rest of the NCAA.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | December 20, 2010 10:24 PM
----------

Welcome to the "dark side."

Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 20, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The problem isn't whether you like Leach or not. I'll take a wait and see on that and I hope it works. But in know way can anyone justify the Ralph deserved this. This has an awful smell to it. One couldn't have possibly handled any worse. Especially the timing of it all. I'm sure they are afraid that Ralph would have a big blowout victory in the bowl game. They had better land Leach or someone even more attractive. A guy like Locksley wouldn't come close to cutting it, nor would Willingham, so Plank better deliver. Ironically, wasn't Ralph and the MD football program his first uniform contract?

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | December 20, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

So, you're telling me that when slAnderson looked into the camera and said that although Leach is on the list they have not made any decision about where they are going in this process, he lied? Shocking! Okay, so you're going big time now. I echo Hugh, and say I expect them to win big. And if they don't, I get to boo, loudly. Then if they don't win big for another year, I should expect that coach to get fired. And, I should also expect them to fire the AD who made the decision to hire that coach. I hope slAnderson keeps his integrity and his word.

Posted by: Terps85 | December 20, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

It's always gonna be sour grapes with some, until they get right with Jesus.

Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 20, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious how off base a certain nutcase poster who lives in his mom's basement is (you know, that guy who named his screen name after my dead dog). If Leach is a success at Maryland, I will be the first person on here saying how wrong I was to question the move, unlike said nutcase who has never even once admitted a mistake or conceded a wrong prediction on this blog.

But the bottom line is, I don't care if Bear Bryant came back from the dead to coach here, you just don't throw away a good man, a great coach, and an alum like Ralph Friedgen--who has done more for this football program than any of us could have possibly imagined when he was hired 10 years ago.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

what I'm saying is that you spend a lot of time and energy projecting that how great it is to live in SoCal but yet spend an inordinate amount of time posting on this board to the point that you get irate when someone questions your posting identity as if being poopy on this board defines you. And it goes beyond being a fan because from what i can tell, you are so far removed from the reality of Terps bball and football programs. your opinion here is likely based on reading box scores or sports center highlights. You have no interesting or valuable insights about the team, but maybe it's not your fault. I'd be interested to know when the last time was that you actually attended a MD sports event. Maybe you're detached from MD teams and should find something else. Or just stick to watching cartoons.

Posted by: JoeMama11 |
--------------------------

One of my favorite posts ever on this blog. Pretty well sums up our resident nutcase PoopyMcPoop/DixontheDog.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Fridge got a chance, he did a good job. He didn't do a good enough job to warrant a contract extension however. Anderson came here with the number one goal of turning this football program into a perennial top 25 team. Fridge couldn't and hadn't been able to do that. I'd rather get rid of Fridge now then have him as a lame duck coach next year. Maryland football is losing this market very quickly, and we need something to be excited about again. Even up here in Baltimore VTech is gaining more and more prominence. And what exactly is a "Maryland type coach"? One who is still resting on his laurels from 8 years ago? Or one who went 84-43 against far superior competition than Maryland ever plays? Add to the fact that Leach had to recruit against UT, OU, Nebraska, Texas A+M. Leach's record stands for itself. This fanbase needs something to get excited about, and this just may be it. As for having more loyalty to a mediocre coach than your alma mater, that's just shameful. 2010 Alumnus

Posted by: kbless77 | December 21, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

In addition, in case you guys haven't noticed, this Leach talk has been getting our program national media coverage, something their play on the field hasn't done in 5-6 years. Always good to see that.

Posted by: kbless77 | December 21, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Barno > you should have said if Bear Bryant came back from the dead to coach here 'again'. Bryant coached UMD in 1945.

Posted by: erniegogo | December 21, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Friedgen was totally thrown under the bus by the new "mavericky" AD. Williams had better watch his back and prepare his exit strategy - after all, when was the last time the BB team won anything?

Posted by: kemp13 | December 21, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I think Feinstein got it right...Fridge wont be fired because of W-L records...it is because somewhere along the way, the excitement or "it" factor slipped away from the program and the result was a regularly "unfilled" stadium and lower revenues...

If I am reading these articles correctly, I am a little surprised that there wasnt more offered to Ralph to retire other than a "ring of honor"...did they really expect him to pay $2M for that? MD should have allowed him the dignity of a more lucrative retirement package...especially since they were staring at $2M anyway

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 21, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

you alumni rubes ('bfjam') who say you'll gladly take your allegiance away from MD because of the way Fridge is being treated....did you stay away when Lefty got treated unfairly? nope, you'll follow the wins and be back. guaranteed.

Posted by: nivreg | December 21, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

If Maryland hires Mike Leach, I am in for season tickets. After all that is what this is about. The Fridge did a great job but no fans in the stands. This is an infusion of energy the program needs. I hope Danny hangs in there for the transition. It could lead to great things! Just an old Terp from 72' but I remember the Randy White years and boy was it fun! Bring it on..I am in!

Posted by: pbn66 | December 21, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

as a maryland alum and fan going back to the claiborne era, this COULD be a defining moment in maryland football. for the first time since 1947 maryland can hire a proven winner as its football coach. i - for one - am excited.

for those who bring up that mike leach isn't in bobby ross' league, remember this. 8-3 is the best bobby ross ever did in the regular season. he couldn't beat penn state, seemed to lose games each season he had no business losing (e.g.; syracuse & vanderbilt in '84), and never sold out byrd stadium on a consistent basis (clemson in 82 and penn state in 85 were the exceptions).

i say why shouldn't maryland aim for things better than 8-3 and appearances in the sun/cherry/champs sports/humanitarian bowls. statements like maryland can't win consistently because of its location, its a basketball school, and such are cop-outs.

the most ironic thing i've read on these posts was when someone said maryland made the same mistake when they let bear bryant go following the 1946 season. the consequences of that mistake were hiring jim tatum away from oklahoma and enjoying the best era ever in terp football (including the 1953 national championship and 3 "bcs" bowl appearances). hope this mistake turns out the same way

terp alum - 1988

Posted by: ziowa9 | December 21, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe Maryland fans are against the hire of Coach Leach. He built a program that developed into a consistant winner in the Big 12. He has graduated close to 80% of his players. What more do you want?

Maryland fans are delusional if they think their program is in an elite class. Your program isn't attracting any top tier coaches.

If he is hired and the when Maryland begins to compete for the ACC Championship all you complainers will jump on the Leach bandwagon and say it was a great hire.


Posted by: dodgertown | December 21, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Who cares Sally!?!? Now that Wilbon is gone, you're the worst columnist that The Washington Post has!!

Posted by: psock1 | December 21, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

No,dodgertown,as far as I'm concerned,I'm not totally against Mr.Mike Leach coming for an interview.There seems to appear an "annointment" of Leach to take over the program from the very beginning and there are other candidates that need to be considered unless this university is going to treat their coaches like free agent players out on the market.Why cultivate animosity against the admin. by coldly firing a 10 yr.coach of a big time program in the athletic dept?OK,maybe they did'nt want it to be so controversial,I'll grant them that angle.But,our area is not Texas and the next head coach will be working with Ralph and Franklin recruits for a couple years.Mr. Leach is not going to roll into Md. and put us into a BCS bowl automatically by who people think he is!(?)I'm not sold that he's so invincible by not examining his past performances through proper references at the Texas Tech Univ. and athletic dept.Besides,is he the kind of coach that will demand more support than his new home football fan base is willing to give(economy) and will non football fans accept his salary and benefits pkg. without all the serious griping,too?These are things a search committee might want to consider before we just all jump on this Texas shootem coach on the east coast of ACC football.

Posted by: worcsterguy | December 21, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Interesting article by Sally. I wonder if she would have written it if he was a Md coach?.....Probably not.

Posted by: Beltwayman2 | December 21, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I say bravo for going after Coach Leach! He won with 3 star recruits and maybe eventually some 4 stars. The 4 and 5 star recruits went to UT, OU, LSU, Florida - as it was tough to draw many out to West Texas & Texas Tech. But he beat those teams. He will help on recruiting instantly, is a very good coach with a neat offensive style and is still on the upswing in his coaching abilities. I like Coach Friedgen and think the NFL should look at him.

Posted by: dallasal10 | December 21, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I have loved what Ralph has done over the past ten years. The school is largely to fault with this program coming up short of his goals. However, in the Big Boy world, when you have two employees involved in a power struggle---which is what we have had between Franklin and Fridge over the past couple of years--and you have an alternative to these two---ya clean house!!! All Franklin had to do is wait one more year, all Ralph had to do was gracefully retire---basically honor their word. But they tried to muscle the new AD and President. UM can become a power in football and maybe with new leadership on all levels that can become a reality!!! Change is good--it provides clarity---and that is what we are getting!! Good Luck Coach Leach---you deserve another opportunity.

Posted by: beardown29 | December 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I have loved what Ralph has done over the past ten years. The school is largely to fault with this program coming up short of his goals. However, in the Big Boy world, when you have two employees involved in a power struggle---which is what we have had between Franklin and Fridge over the past couple of years--and you have an alternative to these two---ya clean house!!! All Franklin had to do is wait one more year, all Ralph had to do was gracefully retire---basically honor their word. But they tried to muscle the new AD and President. UM can become a power in football and maybe with new leadership on all levels that can become a reality!!! Change is good--it provides clarity---and that is what we are getting!! Good Luck Coach Leach---you deserve another opportunity.

Posted by: beardown29 | December 21, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Barno > you should have said if Bear Bryant came back from the dead to coach here 'again'. Bryant coached UMD in 1945.

Posted by: erniegogo | December 21, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Yep

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget how many NFL players the Maryland program pumped out over the past 10 years in the Friedgen Era. Leach has certainly had some kids that have played on Sundays, but nowhere close to what Fridge did. Everyone waving the Leach flag needs to tone it down a bit, and while his offense can be explosive, and he had success in Texas, Ralph did AMAZING things with the kids he brought through his program. There are 3 times more players in the NFL from Maryland than from TTU. There are more Maryland players on the two closest Maryland rosters than Leach has in the entire NFL. His system is not translatable to the NFL, and his defenses have been borderline pathetic. All that with the talent pool of Texas. Do people actually think he can come close to matching that with this talent pool, and develop NFL players the way Fridge did? While success on Saturday is what programs are ultimately judged by, there's something to be said when you see a Maryland player on just about every NFL roster.

However, looking at the landscape, Leach is probably the best candidate for the job outside of Randy Edsall (who would probably not even interview for the job) to achieve the results Anderson is looking for in terms of short-term ticket sales. What's done is done.

Posted by: Russtinator | December 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Dixon, can a guy get some good meatloaf from that mother of yours?

How is it that Barno will apologize if Leach delivers? After all he is boycotting the program. So how will he know?

HughG, I understand where you are coming from, but actually both TerpfanMA and I were being patient with Ralph. I had been supportive of his return since the Virginia game and even was willing to let him earn an extension next season.

Now some of us are a little concerned about the BB team. After all it's been 7 years since a Sweet 16. That is a long time and this year isn't looking great. Am I the first to use "bubble" to describe where we might be? Look at that schedule in January with Duke, Wake and Nova on the road in one week. What I am saying is a lot of us have been patient.

Posted by: petecard | December 21, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Terps haven't been relevant since Fridge took Vanderlindens recruites to the next level 7 years ago. And everyone talks about this year's 8-4 record? Really? beating Morgan State? WOW! Navy's poor decision making handed the game to Maryland. Wake Forest? they had 3 wins Duke? the only time you talk about Duke Football is when you lose to them, they won 3 games. UVA yawn...won 4. Coach of the year?...if MD had won 5, 6 games in 2009 there's no way people would have voted for the Fridge.

Posted by: Terp80 | December 21, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post "sprots"?

Posted by: TCooper44 | December 21, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

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