Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach will be back on the sideline someday, probably next year, probably not at Arizona Stadium.
Leach, in Tucson on Wednesday to promote a college all-star game and to do a book signing at the eastside Barnes & Noble, met with the media to talk in general terms about the vacant Arizona position and his plans for the future.
“Everybody kind of knows that I am interested in getting back in,” he said. “I haven’t really been that invisible of a guy.”
As an author, TV analyst, Sirius XM radio host and a guy who returns phone calls, Leach has been plenty visible since he was fired from Texas Tech after the 2009 season for alleged mistreatment — largely debunked — of Red Raiders player Adam James.
Leach is basically mentioned as a candidate for every job that has become open, including Arizona, Tulane, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic. There will be many more vacancies in about a month, potentially including some in the Pac-12.
“I think it’s a great job,” Leach said of the Arizona position.
“Anybody would be interested in this job. The thing is, they have an idea of what they’re looking for. They have an idea of what direction they’re going. If I somehow fit in there, then maybe there will be some dialogue. And if I don’t, I’m sure they will select a good individual for the position. …
“It’s an exciting position.”
Leach said as far as having any dialogue with the Arizona, it’s been “nothing particular, just murmuring,” and he probably wouldn’t say if they have been serious discussions, because athletic director Greg Byrne values stealth in his proceedings.
(As such, it’s impossible to know much for certain, but it is believed — at least by me — that Byrne is targeting coaches other than Leach.)
Leach said he and Byrne have met before in college football circles.
“Good guy. Young, enthusiastic,” Leach said.
“We used to talk to our team about how the three most important things are, be a team, be the most excited to play and be the best at doing your job. And he’s excited about doing his job, I think. He has always been kind of an enthusiastic guy.”
Leach, who has litigation pending against Texas Tech, went 84-43 in 10 years with the Red Raiders, often leading the country in passing with his “Air Raid” spread offense.
Leach, who has a law degree from Pepperdine, was scheduled to speak to a University of Arizona Sports Law class in the afternoon before his book signing.