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Mike Leach interviews for Tennessee job, reports say

RYAN PUGH | Daily Evergreen File

RYAN PUGH | Daily Evergreen File

REBECCA WHITE, JACOB MOORE, and DYLAN GREENE

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WSU football Head Coach Mike Leach denied the multiple reports that surfaced Thursday night of a meeting between him and a University of Tennessee official to potentially discuss a job opportunity.

Leach met with Tennessee Athletic Director John Currie about the Vols head coaching vacancy while recruiting for the Cougars in California, according to multiple reports. UT parted ways with Currie Friday morning, according to ESPN’s Chris Low.

WSU offered Leach a raise and a contract extension prior to his meeting with Currie in Los Angeles but he was underwhelmed by the offer, sources told ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura.

The sixth year head coach has been frustrated by WSU’s lack of communication about the search process for a new AD, sources told Bonagura.

Youtube user Mike Justice posted a video early Friday morning of Leach saying that he did not meet with UT.

“Look, if I had, I wouldn’t tell ya and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t tell ya,” he said after someone asked whether he had a chance to meet with UT. “I’m here right now and I’m looking forward to the next practice.”

Leach was reportedly in Southern California for recruitment purposes when the blog A to Z Sports wrote that he had met with UT Athletic Director John Currie. The meeting was said to have “lasted about two hours.”

Currie, who was recently under scrutiny by fans for almost hiring Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Greg Shiano, released a statement Monday after the deal fell through.

“I am grateful for your patience as our search for the next leader for the Tennessee football program continues, and I look forward to making that introduction soon,” he said in the release.

Dallas Fort-Worth reporter Newy Scruggs tweeted Thursday evening that a deal between Leach and UT could come as early as today.

With a 38-37 overall record in Pullman, Leach is fourth on the list of most wins by a head coach in program history.  Five of those losses have come in the last game of each season he’s been with WSU. The Cougars lost in this year’s Apple Cup to rival University of Washington.

This has prompted some fans to speculate on his future with the Cougars. Leach reassured the media following his team’s 41-14 loss to the Huskies, ending the program’s bid for a conference title game and rematch with University of Southern California.

“I’m strictly focused on the Washington State Cougars,” he said in a post-game news conference. “I can’t speak much to rumors I know nothing about. I’m focused on Washington State, excited about that.”

WSU’s head coach earns a little over $3 million per year, according to The Seattle Times. If he were to sign with the Volunteers, Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch would assume Leach’s role, according to FootballScoop.

Rumors of Leach’s potential leave were sparked when former WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos unexpectedly signed with Nebraska University on Oct. 23.

 

This story is being updated as information comes in.

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