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John Scimeca

No personality in NCAA coaching circles can match that of formerTexas Tech football coach Mike Leach. Leach ended a 10-year careerin 2009 as the Red Raiders’ head coach in a controversial manneramid accusations regarding poor treatment of wide receiver AdamJames. Critics point out that ESPN sensationalized the issuebecause of Adam’s father Craig James, who is a college footballbroadcaster for the company.

During Leach’s tenure at Texas Tech, he was nationallyrecognized for quirky offensive schemes, even quirkier pressconferences and record-setting quarterbacks. Leach’s goofy sidelinedemeanor produced words of wisdom: “The chicken is involved, butthe pig is committed.” He also once accused his players of “runningoff and crying to their fat little girlfriends.” Leach’s affinitytoward the Red Raiders caused fans to refer to Texas Tech as the”pirate school,” which culminated in Leach’s recent autobiography”Swing Your Sword” that describes his firing and ensuing lawsuitagainst the school.

Leach would be the splashiest hire out of any of the Tulanehead-coaching candidates. Remarkably, Leach never played collegefootball, but instead earned a law degree. His 84-43 overall recordat Texas Tech from 2000-09 includes nine bowl appearances and 10consecutive winning seasons. While Leach would seemingly havebetter offers from bigger schools, Tulane could woo him by beingthe only school willing to take the risk.