Mike Leach to Maryland? Could this be bad for Arizona?by Anthony Gimino on Dec. 18, 2010, under Sports
Arizona Wildcats football fans should keep an eye on a head coaching situation taking place about 2,300 miles away.
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, 63, has reportedly agreed to a contract buyout, with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach emerging as a leading candidate.
Leach has ties to three Arizona offensive coaches — offensive line coach and co-coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh, running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator Seth Littrell and outside receivers coach Dave Nichol.
Leach was an assistant coach at Iowa Wesleyan in 1991 when Bedenbaugh played there. Bedenbaugh was on the same coaching staff as Leach in 1996 at Valdosta State under head coach Hal Mumme.
When Leach became a head coach at Texas Tech in 2000, he brought in Bedenbaugh, who stayed through the 2006 season before joining Arizona.
Littrell played for Oklahoma in 1999, when Leach was the Sooners’ offensive coordinator. Littrell coached for Leach at Texas Tech from 2005 to 2008.
Nichol was a Texas Tech student assistant in 2000 and 2001, later joining Leach’s staff as a graduate assistant in 2003 and 2005.
Leach, who was fired after a successful 10-season run at Texas Tech after last season amid allegations of mistreatment of a player, certainly would be looking to hire assistants familiar with his Air Raid passing offense should he get the Maryland job.
Another potential problem for Arizona head coach Mike Stoops is that Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen will become the head coach in-waiting at West Virginia after the Cowboys play the Wildcats in the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl.
Holgorsen is another former Texas Tech assistant who has strong ties to that trio of Arizona coaches. Even though he won’t become the West Virginia head coach until after the 2011 season, Holgorsen could begin to remake the Mountaineers’ offensive coaching staff this offseason.
Might there be a situation in which Leach and Holgorsen are each trying to hire their old coaching buddies? Sure looks that way, so it could get very interesting for Arizona this offseason.