Regardless of how you feel about new Washington State coach Mike Leach, it’s hard not to argue that the man is one of a kind. From his “Air Raid” offense, to affinity with pirates and everything in between, there is no one in college football (or anywhere for that matter) quite like him. After all, this is a man that Urban Meyer recently referred to as a “certified nut job”… and the crazy thing was that Meyer meant it in the most complimentary way possible.
Of course Leach is also never afraid to share his own opinion or answer a tough question, and on Monday afternoon he found the perfect forum for just that. Yup, Mike Leach had a Q&A with fans on the social media website Reddit.com, and as you may have guessed, hilarity did ensue.
The questions ranged from serious to funny, football-related to dating advice and everything in between. Here is a sample of a few fan interactions…
Here is Mike Leach…
Q. What made you decide to go with the spread offense before pretty much anyone else was using it? Who did you learn it from and are you surprised/flattered that it’s taken off in such a big way?
(Edit: And as a KU fan, I have to ask, what was it like working with Mark Mangino?)
A. We borrowed from the wishbone because they were good at distributing the football to all of the different skill positions. Then we spread it out so we could attack the whole field. When it comes to football, you have three resources: time, space, and personnel. You want to use all of them as effectively as possible.
We borrowed from a great number of people. I worked with Hal Mumme for 10 years who has a great mind. I had the opportunity to really develop my skills as a coach as we studied different teams and methods throughout the country.
I really enjoyed working with Mark Mangino. I still keep in touch with him. He belongs in coaching and I look forward to the day when he has the opportunity to get back in.
Q. I read some where that your perfect offense would involve no playbook, just letting the offense happen on the field. Is that true? If so, can you expand a little more on it, as I think it’s an interesting idea.
A. I don’t think that is totally accurate. Your playbook is your film clips. Written playbooks became a little obsolete when they shifted from film to video. We put our playbook on a DVD using film clips.
On Wazzu’s future:
Q. How long do you think it will take to make WSU a perennial contender for the PAC-12 championship?
A. I always focus on the short term which is winning one game a week and we are going to try to do that as often as possible.
Q. How do you go about building a program such as Washington State?
Also were there other schools that made you offers? And what made you chose Washington State over them?
A. It’s a constant process of evaluation and teaching. You try to do your best every day to emphasize what will move you forward the quickest.
Washington State has a unique identity that few other places do. WSU has a clear, concise direction lead by Dr. Floyd (the president) and Bill Moos (the AD) with very little bureaucracy. We are building all kinds of new facilities and I think there is huge potential here which is why we need you to vote for ESPN College GameDay to come to Washington State!
On his nemesis Craig James:
Q. How much do you hate Craig James, I mean seriously?
Also, congrats on your new job as a fellow Cougar. We down here in Houston don’t mind our brethren to the north.
A. I think my opinion is consistent with most of the rest of America’s. This is illustrated by a poll done in the Dallas Morning News where people were asked who they would vote for senator: Mike Leach or Craig James. I got 96.5 percent of the vote.
On his favorite non-football topic, pirates:
Q. Who is your favorite historical pirate? If you were to hoist the Jolly Roger and take to the seas, what would be the name of your ship?
A. The most exciting is Black Beard. Perhaps my favorite with regards to efficiency and execution would be Barthlomew Roberts. Don’t forget about Sir Francis Drake though. Henry Morgan is interesting but he betrayed his men.
I am open for suggestions in naming my ship!
And finally, here’s Mike Leach on dating:
Q. I’m a Freshman at Washington State and I’m new to Pullman. I’ve got a first date with a girl and I was wondering if you might have some recommendations?
A. First take her to CDs Pit House BBQ in Moscow, ID. If she will get her hands dirty with some great BBQ, you will know you are on the right track! Then I would go enjoy the incredible college life on College Hill at WSU but make sure you have the opportunity to talk to her a lot.
Q. Coach Leach, do you have any marriage tips? You seem to have a solid family backing despite being out of your mind busy all the time. How do you keep it all together?
A. I have been married almost 30 years. Making sure your wife is your best friend is one of the most important things in a good marriage. Neither party needs to keep things bottled up and there needs to be an open line of communication.
You can read the full transcript of the Q&A here.
But as you can see, Mike Leach is a man of many trades!
For all his articles, opinions and insight on college football and beyond, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.