I just emailed this to VC David Williams. If I could have copied the entire Board of Trust, I would have. Enjoy.
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Subject: I Implore You To Consider Mike Leach
If I didn't send an email regarding Mike Leach while the opportunity exists, I would regret it.
I think it is beyond negligent and borderline insanity that he is not being considered for the head coaching position. Mike Leach is exactly the type of head coaching candidate that Vanderbilt needs. Consider the following:
1) His track record with regard to graduation rate is among the best in the country. Sounds like the type of head coach I would want at Vanderbilt.
2) He has a proven track record of success. Nearly taking Texas Tech, long overshadowed by dominating Texas and Texas A&M and against whom they must recruit, to a BCS game is no small feat. Sounds like the type of head coach I would want at Vanderbilt.
3) Bob Stoops, considered a great defensive coach, was so fearful of Leach's offense that he hired him as his offensive coordinator. If you're going to consider system-guys like a Malzahn or a Jasper, why not go after the ultimate system guy? A guy that would immediately strike fear into the hearts of our opponents. Sounds like the type of head coach I would want at Vanderbilt.
I've heard it said that Vanderbilt isn't considering Leach due to the pending lawsuits (read: baggage). Frankly, this is completely the wrong approach to the situation. Under normal circumstances, Vanderbilt would have zero shot at hiring a coach with the credentials of Mike Leach. ZERO. It is because of these issues that Vanderbilt could possibly sign him. It's the concept of buying low and selling high. Further, if judgments are being made upon his character based on information that was initially reported by entities being sued for negligent reporting, I think that deserves attention.
I cannot fathom how, in a perfect world where the pending lawsuits didn't exist, Mike Leach would not be on our coaching wishlist. He graduates players. He wins the right way. He is a feared offensive mastermind. Even despite the allegations, which were widely reported by ESPN at the direction of the father of the student-athlete in question, the Texas Tech fanbase still longs for his return to the sidelines. We haven't had this type of head coach at Vanderbilt for the last fifty years, if not since Dan McGugin.
If those lawsuits didn't exist, he should absolutely be on our wishlist, except it would be in that same way that an Urban Meyer or Jim Harbaugh should be on our wishlist but aren't since we'd never have a shot at bringing them to Vanderbilt from whatever program they are currently with.
Except because of those lawsuits, WE DO have that opportunity. He is available. He isn't a gamble. He isn't a risk. Sometimes making the right hire isn't the easy one. Yes, he has a little bit of legal baggage. That's a short term problem. As you are aware, our football program has much larger long-term problems. They will not be solved by "the next great thing." Those coaches don't stand a chance. Those coaches haven't been successful over the long term for the last fifty years at Vanderbilt. They're not magically going to start working this next time. Coach Stallings loves the Einstein quote that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Now is that opportunity to go in a direction Vanderbilt has never gone before.
We can agree that virtually any hire that is made will be controversial. At the very least, Mike Leach's track record, academic performance, and reputation are not the controversy. And that's more than we could possibly say for any other candidate and puts the program further ahead from the start.
At the very least he should be interviewed. Frankly, any other hire that we could possibly make pales in comparison to what he would accomplish as our head coach. Settling for less, when such a known quantity is out there, is tantamount to gross negligence.
Thank you for your time.
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