One of the best stories in college football this year is that Washington State head football coach, NY Times bestselling author and CYInterview regular Mike Leach took his team to the next level in the Pac 12. The season brought many positives that included impressive road wins at both Oregon and UCLA. Finishing the season at 8-4, the Cougars accepted an invite to play in the Sun Bowl on December 26th against the University of Miami.
We welcome back Coach Leach to talk about the season, the upcoming bowl game and when he might write another book, as well as discussing movies he has seen recently.
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Reflecting on what Washington State did in the 2015 regular season, Coach Leach said this:
“Didn’t play as good as, you know, we would’ve liked to early, but some of that’s just the adjustment of becoming a football team and becoming a college football player because I looked around our sideline and about half of these guys had never been in a college football game. And then, I was really proud of the way they persevered, the way we steadily improved.”
What did he learn from this year’s team?
“One is the value of offseason. The other thing is to never sell yourself short. The other thing is the importance of playing till the clock says zero, zero, zero ‘cause our games literally came down to that. And then they never let their expectations of themselves die even after things got tough. … We’re probably the youngest team in America, yet we’re the least penalized team in the Pac 12. … I was proud of our team, you know, just focusing in, the way they focused growing up fast type of thing on the run and we steadily improved each week and I think that’s one of the important things of a good football team.”
On December 26th, the Washington State Cougars will play the University of Miami in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The Sun Bowl is the second oldest bowl in college football history. The game is broadcast nationally on CBS. On what the bowl means to him and his program, Mike said this:
“This will be the 12th bowl that Washington State’s been to in history and very few teams in history have had the season at Washington State that this group has. You know, we want to distinguish ourselves and give ourselves the opportunity to build on it for the following year, you know, because it’s an opportunity for us to improve, for us to get better and you know, start and build and create a legacy. You know, just kind of add a couple more bricks really. Then it’s an honor to be in the Sun Bowl, I should mention, one of the oldest bowls, the second oldest bowl in the history of college football and it’s also an honor to play a team with the history and the tradition and the distinction of the University of Miami.”
The NY Times bestselling author has written two great books titled Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life and Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior. On whether a third book is in the works, Coach Leach said this:
“I’ll probably write another book, you know, just, you know, kind of what happened next and stuff, but I gotta do some more stuff before I have enough to put it in a book. So I gotta gather some more, I’m still researching the sequel to Swing Your Sword. I gotta throw out another 20 years under my belt so I have something to talk about.”
For those who have followed our many conversations with Coach Leach, you will know that he has a keen appreciation for movies. On the recent film releases Creed, The Big Short and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he shared this:
“I saw the Rocky movie [Creed]. I thought that’s pretty good. I thought of the Rocky movies, that was the second best one. I think the best one’s the first Rocky movie. I saw a movie Sicario, which is constant non-stop action, which I thinks a really good movie. I’ve seen all the other Star Wars. I’ll definitely see this one. And I like all the Star Wars. I’ve enjoyed all of them, which says something since I’m not really a science fiction guy. But I’ve enjoyed all the Star Wars movies and of course appreciate the way that they change movies and change the way they do things, revolutionize things. …
I want to see The Big Short because I know Michael Lewis. Michael Lewis did an article on me for NY Times Magazine and we’ve kept up with each other since and of course I’ve read Liar’s Poker, Moneyball and Blind Side and so I like his stuff and he’s a very smart guy. I mean, if you think about just the variety of those books, the stuff he’s written about has so much variety. I mean, it’s like they’re all just totally different fields. I think that’s impressive.
And then of course The Big Short illustrates how the combination of greed and unmanaged government finally ignited and then you’ve gotta wonder if we’ve actually plugged the holes or enabled more behavior. Well, of course our government’s in total disarray, you know, right now when you consider the disconnect between the people and the politicians, you know, and just by the voting patterns behavior, there’s a lot of dissatisfaction right now.
And, you know, everybody’s, it’s funny because the politicians and the pontificators on politics are all puzzled why Donald Trump’s doing so well. Well, it’s obvious why he’s doing so well, I mean, because the politicians have failed to do their job. I mean, it’s been a dismal failure. The American people know it and they’re more disturbingly more conscious of it than these politicians had hoped. And so this business as usual as far as becoming a politician and just holding onto your job and collecting money and power and not really getting anything accomplished. I mean, there’s a little bit of a wrench in that idea now. Hopefully the wrench is big enough, you know, to put it to an end and force both sides to communicate and get something accomplished. And so we’ll see. It will be an interesting next couple years.”
You can find more information and purchase a copy of Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior by Mike Leach and Buddy Levy clicking here.
You can find more information and purchase a copy of Mike Leach’s paperback edition of Swing Your Sword: Leading The Charge in Football and Life clicking here
You can find Mike Leach’s official Twitter clicking here.
You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com
You can follow Chris Yandek on Twitter here.