Today on Hail Varsity Radio, Chris Schmidt caught up with Washington State Coach Mike Leach to get his thoughts on Bill Moos coming to Nebraska and his thoughts on the Nebraska job. You can listen to the full show here.
CS: Coach, how you doing?
ML: I’m doing good. Shoot, we gotta get a little better as a team. Everybody in Nebraska, it’s great news for you. You’re going to love Bill Moos. It’s lousy news for me. I wish Bill the best in his career and all that but you know Bill’s the best the best AD that I’ve ever even met and I’ve met a ton of them. Just does a tremendous job and so now we’re looking for another one so those are big shoes to fill here. You never know in sports, stuff always happens and goes a variety of directions. I certainly wish Bill and his wife nothing but the best.
CS: What was it about Bill Moos that got you back into coaching?
ML: Well within coaching ranks, Bill was always the one you wanted to work for. We had heard what he was like to work for. So, he’s the one we all wanted to work for. I didn’t know him or have a connection with him either. I never I thought I’d have the opportunity to work for him. It turns out he came down to Key West and he hired me. That was great. I didn’t know I was gonna get back in because I was pretty much in the prime of my career. We’d won more games than anybody in the history of Texas Tech. Despite that, they haven’t paid me a dime for 2009 because there’s some dishonest people there. Hopefully there’s some honest ones there now that want to correct the sins of the sleazy one in the past but we’ll see on that I guess. I did figure I’d get back in and the opportunity to work for Bill was a special opportunity. It’s always fun to build and we’ve done some things to get this place headed in the right direction but have plenty more to do. Now it’s time for both of us to move on.
CS: When did you find out and what it’s been like after Moos leaving?
ML: The biggest thing, I’m just focused on the season, a lot of film and stuff like that and trying to eliminate the distractions. I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls from people hoping I can help them become the AD. That’ll be a group decision and I’m sure President [Kirk] Shultz has some people in mind or will have a committee to generate some people. We’ll just work on that as it comes. A lot of phone calls to check on me to see how I’m doing, “hey I heard your AD left, can you help me get a job” and of course when we’ve talked for years but quite a few calls from folks in Nebraska media doing a little recon on how they think it’s going to unfold with Bill there.
CS: I’m interested to know if Mike Leach would want to be an AD someday?
ML: No Mike Leach doesn’t want to be an AD ever. Mike Leach’s interest in being an AD is zero. I’d practice law again before I become an AD. It’s a bunch of meetings, you got a bunch of meetings. Sometimes they are filled with genuinely great fantastic people that want to solve problems but the only thing worse than a Senator or Congressman is some stuffy person pretending to be a Senator or Congressman and these meetings are full of people like that. They love rules. As soon as somebody starts using the catch-phrase "we need to get out in front of something” that means “I’m about to suggest something that’s entirely unnecessary that’s about to eat up hours of your life, offer no results and in the end we will have to get rid of it. My feelings will be hurt be hurt if you don’t allow me to come up with this new stupid policy.” A lot of stuff like that goes on with being an AD. That being said if you don’t have a great AD you’re screwed. You have to weed through all that stuff. The single most important quality of an AD is to have an honest person that’s got your back, creates a vision and an identity of the athletic department. Bill is all that and more.
CS: What do you think of the Nebraska job in general and when you think of Nebraska what comes to mind?
ML: You think of all the great tradition that exists at Nebraska. The great teams they’ve had and in particular you think of powerful offensive and defensive line explosions. When we used to play them at Tech, they were always so strong. You knew you were going to get roughed up against Nebraska. Several of those games went our way, no question, but you knew you’d get physically roughed up and be bruised after the Nebraska game. That stadium is a lot louder than people give it credit for. I always found in the Big 12, other than Texas A&M at the time, I could never distinguish between Nebraska or Oklahoma. I could never tell which one was actually the loudest. So, it’s extremely loud. You just think of power, commitment. They’ve always been a football school and they’ve always been into it and very committed. The fans are always devoted.
CS: Do you ever hang out with him, what’s his personality like?
ML: Well, we were really close and we’re still really close. We are close as far as that goes with one another. He’s got a ranch so when he’s outside of work, he does hang out with a lot of ranchers and farmers. Some of them he went to school with here at Washington State. The fun for Nebraska’s getting ready to begin with. This is going to be a lively fun ride for everyone at Nebraska. He’s got a saying when it comes to branding or marketing “We’ve got to give this a little bit of sizzle.” Bill Moos is going to give Nebraska some sizzle, believe me.