Mike Leach works the holidays, gravy, Tommy Bowden and Miss America into one conversation
Posted by: Josh Kendall on November 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving, or, as it's known to football coaches, Thursday.
Washington State coach Mike Leach talked this week about the reality of one of the country's biggest holidays falling three days before most teams play a critical rivalry game.
"You are talking to a guy that until he left football didn't celebrate Christmas on Christmas ever," Leach said. "Not one time."
Leach and the Cougars take on Washington for the Apple Cup on Saturday. Washington State's staff and players had a holiday meal planned Wednesday night, and the coaches have a work day today, Leach said.
The Cougars, who are 2-9, won't be going to a bowl so Leach might get to celebrate Thanksgiving next week and even have a normal Christmas.
"We will get fired up about the turkey deal (for Thanksgiving) and a lot of times we'll have it again within the next week or two because we think, 'Why don't we do this all the time?'" Leach said. "I typically make the gravy. My wife does a good job cooking, but I am far better at the gravy. I put a lot of stuff in it. Once you understand the fact that you can't screw up gravy, the pressure is off. If it's not right, you just load it up with water, milk or flour if it's not thick enough and you just start over again."
This will be the first time in Leach's head coaching career that he's had a losing record, so most of his Christmases have been spent preparing for a bowl game. His favorite holiday bowl story came several years ago before the Tangerine Bowl during the traditional luncheon press conference that every bowl game has.
"I am the first one and they say, 'What do you wish for this Christmas?' and of course I didn't want to be so vain to say, 'Well all we care about is winning this game,' so I went very politically correct as you know I typically do, and I had to think really quickly, and I thought, 'What would Miss America do in this situation?' So, I said, 'My wish is for World Peace,'" Leach said. "Tommy Bowden was the coach at Clemson, and I thought, 'World peace is pretty strong, Tommy is going to have to come up with something pretty good to beat out World Peace.' Well, he says, 'We're just going to hope for a victory in the game.' I was lucky enough to go first, I got world peace out there."
Recent Articles on CoachingSearch.com
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org