Mississippi State’s Head Football Coach Mike Leach Back and He’s Swinging His Sword

For many sports fans, today is the beginning of college football season. The first Thursday before Labor Day Weekend has a full slate of games and continues with more football on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Before the Mississippi State Bulldogs, of the Southeastern Conference [SEC], play their first game, we welcome back their head football coach, frequent CYInterview guest and NY Times bestselling author Mike Leach.

Coach Leach is one of football’s most interesting personalities. He has been making appearances on CYInterview since 2012.

Every offseason, Mike decides to visit new places in the world. This year, he went to both Colombia and Panama. On what he took away from his travels this summer, he said this:

“I went to Panama and we went to Panama City mainly. But kinda went on that little trail where Captain Morgan came over to Portobello and then worked his way across and then ransacked Panama City, but Panama City was very nice, went to the Canal, looked at a lot of the estate in the old town, a lot of the, you know, colonial buildings. You know, colonial Spanish buildings. Then went to Cartagena, Colombia and then, which has this big walled city and then of course, it’s right on the ocean. And at one point and time and a number of people took over Cartagena, but one of them was Sir Francis Drake.”

This season will be his third as the head coach at Mississippi State. Here are his thoughts on this year’s team:

“We are experienced, but not particularly old. And I do feel like we’re a better team than we were last year and part of it is we got a lot more people that know their role. Their starting to put together more off-seasons and more time together as a team where, you know, as you get that, you know, the older guys, the guys that have played can help instruct the younger guys. So, then they pick things up quicker, have better examples to follow and I think the learning takes place faster if you have the right locker room.”

In the college football offseason, Oklahoma and Texas announced their plans to leave the Big 12 and head to the SEC. Additionally, USC and UCLA announced plans to leave the Pac 12 and move to the Big Ten. Coach Leach believes the continued realignment of universities moving to other conferences will continue in college sports, but not every decision is the right one:

“I don’t think the realignment’s over. I think ambition and jealousy plays into some of it more than just solid logical reasons. You know, I mean as soon as, and I’m not just talking about those specific schools or specific conferences, but you know, as soon as you get colleges in the middle of things, sometimes on the outside everybody thinks all decisions are brilliant, which is far from the truth. Some are knee jerk reactions the, and I do think a big part of it is about money.”

With college athletes now having the ability to make money off their name, image and likeness, Coach weighs in on what this means for the future of college football:

“Just think about when you were 17 to 19 years old. All of a sudden you just have a big pile of money and not a lot of guidance on how to spend it and what to do with it and I don’t see anything particularly good coming out of that. I mean, think about how many professional athletes are bankrupt.

Okay, now all of a sudden, they’re 18 and I think some of the people making these decisions have forgotten what they were like when they were 18. And I have a pretty thorough memory of what I was like when I was 18. … This business of here’s a bunch of money, go run wild and don’t worry about school, a degree or the future, cause degrees take care of families, degrees give you the opportunity to support yourself and your family for the rest of your life. … It’s evolving to where, you know, rather than worry about coaching and playing games, you’re just sitting around cutting backroom deals. So, that’s crazy.”

With all the changes that continue in NCAA Football, the Mississippi State head coach agrees that we should call the sport what it is, the minor leagues of professional football:

“It’s always been as far as, it’s always been the minors to professional football from the standpoint that, you know, it’s really the only, you know, system of football that feeds the National Football League. I mean, you know, if it weren’t for college football, I mean, you know, the NFL, the NCAA provides NFL players in the end and they would not be the same without college football because they don’t have a minor league system.”

You can listen to our entire 30 minute plus CYInterview with Coach Mike Leach, below. It is a compelling discussion about the state of college football.

Listen to the entire Mike Leach CYInterview:

Listen to the Mike Leach CYInterview on YouTube:

You can find Mike Leach’s official Twitter clicking here.