A teary-eyed Mike Leach told Oklahoma players during a December day in 1999 that he’d been offered Texas Tech’s head coaching job. He’d need to consider his next move.
Two days later, Leach was introduced with the Red Raiders.
Leach departed OU after one season as its offensive coordinator. The Sooners played in the Independence Bowl on New Year’s Eve, but Leach did not coach in the game, already in the saddle at Texas Tech. OU lost 27-25 to Ole Miss.
Leach called it “hard to leave” Oklahoma at his Texas Tech introductory news conference, but this new opportunity was too good to pass up.
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“Everybody knows that the greatest football of all is in the state of Texas,” Leach said that December, according to the AP.
Mike Leach left his post as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator for the Texas Tech head coaching position. He did not coach in the Sooners’ bowl game that season.
Nowadays, Leach is rankled because many players pull a similar maneuver and skip a bowl game as they pursue grander opportunity.
Upperclassmen opting out of a bowl game has become a trend, and Mississippi State (7-5) isn’t immune ahead of its Liberty Bowl game against Texas Tech (6-6) on Dec. 28 (6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Last weekend, Leach decried player opt-outs, but he neglected to mention coaches do this all the time.
Players who opt out are usually bound for the NFL Draft and don’t want to risk injury in a bowl game or want to get a jumpstart on NFL preparation.
Running backs Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey were at the head of this. After they sat out bowl games to culminate the 2016 season, some questioned whether their decisions would affect their draft stock. It…