The World Book Dictionary defines loyalty as a loyal feeling or behavior; faithfulness.
In some cases, college football coaches have a difficult time with the understanding. Arizona State’s new head football coach, Todd Graham, left Pittsburgh after one season, but before that left Tulsa after just one year. Listen, the argument isn’t leaving one university for another. Players often leave college early for the pros so coaches should have the same opportunity to leave if a better situation arises. It is a different story in how you leave. Informing your players that you have accepted a different coaching job at a different school through either a text message or a phone call is not acceptable. Graham isn’t the first coach to leave this way and won’t be the last.
One coach who understands the meaning of the word is new Washington State coach Mike Leach. Leach spent 10 seasons coaching at Texas Tech recently went on the Victor and Matt Show on 110SportsPodcast.com and talked about loyalty, “I’m just focused on Washington State. Like Texas Tech, I was never in a hurry to leave there. We were getting better and better each year. We won 29 games the last three seasons.”
In Lubbock, the Red Raiders never had a losing season with Leach calling the shots. Sure better opportunities might have come along, but the continued success developed because Leach didn’t jump ship.
“I think building (a program) is exciting, but to continue to improve is huge,” Leach added.
The days when coaches like Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno would stay with one school for 30+ years are behind us. Nowadays, if a coach stays at a school for 10 years it’s looked upon with surprising eyes. When a coach does stay with one school and shows the commitment necessary to be successful, it’s refreshing. With Leach, the Cougars will have that marriage. He won’t be looking for the next job by using this as a spring board. The future looks bright in Pullman.
– For the full interview with Mike Leach listen to Episode 136 on 110SportsPodcast.com.
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