Texas A&M Football

Mike Leach discusses Kingsbury, A&M memories

June 13, 2012

Notes from Mike Leach interview

* He’s currently in Texas working a camp for McMurry College with one of his mentors, Hal Mumme, who he worked with during his time at Iowa Wesleyan College, Valdosta State and Kentucky.

* He was at a hunting ranch one time that was run by an Aggie named Rocky and had the chance to learn a bunch of the A&M traditions. From that and other encounters, he knows that it can be incredibly exciting to be an Aggie.

* Life in Pullman, Washington is great and it’s not an accident that the Washington State flag pops up at nearly every sporting event including The Masters.

* He’s been a hunter ever since growing up in Wyoming and spending time with his dad who was a forester. The Outdoor Channel has a hunting show that is hosted by a former California quarterback, so from time to time different football guys go hunting with him for the show. In his case, he went bear hunting about three and a half hours northwest of Edmonton, Alberta. After being out there for a while, a huge bear walked through the clearing they were stationed at, and after figuring out how many bears they were able to kill due to game rules, he took the shot and killed the bear.

* One thing that shocks him is how many great quarterbacks have come from Washington State. Guys like Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf fall into that category.

* The Gameday vote was an exciting thing for Washington State, and they were really hoping to win it. Washington State is not unlike A&M in the sense that they have an incredible amount of enthusiasm and identity. Pullman is a small town, so the students are very involved with everything that goes on at the school. When he first got to town, he attended a movie with his wife downtown and was surprised to not find very many students out at 10:30 on a Friday evening. It turns out that the students were pretty much all on campus doing various activities within the confines of their houses. The students also were playing shirts versus skins basketball in the middle of December when it is freezing outside which he found odd.

* While at Kentucky, his offense led the nation in passing and the entire SEC in offense. During that time Bob Stoops was running the number one SEC defense at Florida and shortly after, they decided to combine forces at Oklahoma. Styles of football will always go back and forth, and it wasn’t too long ago that Auburn did a good job of throwing the ball in the SEC. Looking at the NFL, you see that the best teams in the league tend to throw the ball more often than not. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints are all examples of that. The reason for throwing the ball so much is that it allows you to attack space and get all your skill positions involved on the field.

* During his last few years at Tech, his defenses would be in the top three or four in the conference behind the likes of Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. They would have loved to be ahead of those teams, but everyone else in the league was behind them as well. Tech was able to beat Nebraska five out of six times that they played each other while he was there and also beat OU three out of the last five times they played under his watch. Without being decent in all aspects of the game, things like that don’t happen and you’re always looking to improve.

* He never really thought that he would have a coaching tree. He was always focused on getting the next first down instead of growing his tree, but without even realizing it many of his former assistants are now big name coaches at other schools. People like Dana Holgersen, Greg McMackin, Sonny Dykes, Ruffin McNeal and Art Briles all fall under that list. To have the opportunity to work with those guys was a real honor.

* When he coached at Oklahoma, most of the staff was pretty young. One year, they were getting ready to play A&M in Norman and were out on the field doing their pregame stretches. Meanwhile, almost the entire coaching staff was looking over their shoulder to see when RC Slocum was going to come out of the tunnel so that they could all make sure they had the chance to shake his hand. They had watched Slocum coach one great game after the next and all were chomping at the bit to meet the man.

* He talks to Kliff Kingsbury about once a week and thinks that he does a tremendous job at what he does. Kingsbury is one of the smartest guys he knows and double majored in finance and marketing while at Texas Tech. When he left college, Kingsbury was the most highly academically decorated college athlete in America. His dad was a high school coach in New Braunfels and Kingsbury learned a lot from him. When he got to Tech, he needed a quarterback that could set the stage and get things headed in the right direction and Kingsbury was just that.

* Kingsbury has always been a grinder whether it be as a player or a coach. He was so efficient in the class room and apart from getting A’s, he logged many hours in the office watching film and studying for the next game. In his offense, there are a bunch of quarterback checks at the line of scrimmage and Kingsbury always had a great knowledge of what was happening and how to combat it. Kingsbury is from the central/south Texas area and grew up watching the Aggies play and it means a lot to him to be coaching at A&M.

* He always enjoyed the enthusiasm and tradition A&M fans showed when he would play at Kyle field. Football wouldn’t be any fun without the other guy, and if you’re at Tech, A&M was one of the other guys. As a coach, you always knew where A&M stood as soon as you walked onto the field and heard the student section giving everyone their thoughts about you. If things weren’t going your way, the student section would make sure you knew it. Kyle Field is one of the greatest traditions in college football and he always was honored to play there. It was such an exciting thing to be a part of that the mentality always was, we didn’t HAVE to go play at Kyle Field, but we GET to play at Kyle Field.

Discussion from...

Mike Leach discusses Kingsbury, A&M memories (a must-watch...w/ notes)

Very cool of Leach to not only take the time, but to praise a lot of what A&M is really about.

Wow. Definetly helps change my opinion of Leach
Should read "Champing at the bit" not "Chomping at the bit"
Thanks for posting.
I never heard Mike Leach say anything really negative about other schools, A&M included. In fact, he always seemed excited to be playing teams like A&M, OU, and tu. Mostly, I think he was wrapped up in what Mike Leach was doing.

That said, he definitely is not a NORMAL person or coach......he is a little unique.......but then we all have our quirks.

What he is not............ is a grumpy, sour puss like Art Briles who always looks and sounds like he's got something stuck up his rear end.
Should read "Champing at the bit" not "Chomping at the bit"



It was such an exciting thing to be a part of that the mentality always was, we didn’t HAVE to go play at Kyle Field, but we GET to play at Kyle Field.
Great interview that was awesome
I have slept since then but didn't Kliff Kingsbury want to play for A&M but was not offered a scholarship? I recall a similar situation with Drew Brees.
Leach is very smart. For one thing, A&M is a step up in the college football world from Washington State. Duh! So he knows not to burn a bridge, that is, if he does well at Washington St. and if for whatever reason the HC job opens up here sometime down the road I'm sure he'd want to be on our short list.
One thing that shocks him is how many great quarterbacks have come from Washington State. Guys like Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf fall into that category."

Mike Leach = not a good judge of QB talent.

The only shocking thing about Ryan Leaf is how he became such a bust in the NFL.
So why the timeout at the end of the game to run up the score on us? Come on man!
He said all the coaches wanted to shake RC's hand. We haven't done too well since RC left. I hope Kevin can change that.

[This message has been edited by agmeister (edited 6/14/2012 9:18a).]
He said all the coaches wanted to shake RC's hand.
I noticed how they made the comment that Sumlin's plan overall is "don't adjust to them, make them have to adjust to us"
Could work out great or could fail miserably. Enjoyed what Leach said though.
That was awesome work. Thanks for posting.
Same guy who called a timeout while ahead at Kyle Field 44-14, on the 2 yard line, with seconds left in the game, to punch in another TD against the Ags. Still classless IMO.
Thanks a lot for the interview Gabe, BL, and Homer. I always enjoy the Aggie interviews but also opposing coaches/players etc.
That being said I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. I have no idea where all this love is coming from for him. I'm not buying what Leach is selling and I don't ever want that dude here regardless off W/L column. I was in Aggieland from 00'-03' so there is frustration from that but I always felt like he made an extra effort to jab our sides. A lot of crummy things went down under his watch. I hope he stays away.
I give props to the success at Tech because its very difficult to do what he did out there and I know they realize how good he was and how hard it was to see him be let go. And I actually believe he is a great judge of qb talent or "moldability" if you will. (BTW, Ryan Leaf was a good college quarterback.) But please tell me why there are so many Aggies that are displaying so much love for this guy? Does not compute.

[This message has been edited by JMH (edited 6/14/2012 10:37p).]

(Leach does have my respect as a coach, though...)
Battle Cattle will remind ags that Leach considered the 60 minutes on the clock to be his opportunity to run the offense he had constructed irrespective of the score.

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