Cougars add linebackers coach, director of football ops
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State coach Mike Leach has hired Roc Bellantoni as linebackers coach and Dennis Slutak as the director of football operations.
WSU to livestream final session of class taught by Leach
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — The public will be able to get a peek at Washington State coach Mike Leach roaming the classroom instead of the sidelines this spring.
Mike Leach urges WSU students to take his class
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State football coach Mike Leach says it appears he will be teaching a class on football and warfare this spring.
Leach on Tuesday tweeted the class will be offered, although not for college credit.
Leach will teach the class with former state Sen. Michael Baumgartner.
QB Gage Gubrud will transfer to Washington State next season
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Former Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud will become a graduate transfer at Washington State next season.
Coach Mike Leach said Saturday that Gubrud will enroll at Washington State this spring and participate in spring practice.
Gubrud, who led Eastern Washington to an upset of Washington State in his first game as a starter in 2016, is a two-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award, which is given to the top offensive player in FCS.
Washington State coach Mike Leach gets one-year extension
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State and coach Mike Leach have agreed on a one-year contract extension that runs through the 2023 season.
The school said Wednesday that Leach will be paid $3.75 million in 2019, and $4 million per year the following four years. Leach will also receive a one-time retention bonus of $750,000 following the 2020 season.
Washington State football coach hinting he may teach class
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State football coach Mike Leach is hinting that he might teach a class this year.
Leach this week shared what appears to be a course description on Twitter for a proposed class on guerrilla warfare and football strategy.
Leach and former state Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane have publicly discussed jointly teaching the class.
Washington State RB James Williams declares for NFL draft
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State running back James Williams is forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
Williams made his announcement on social media on Saturday. Williams and the Cougars closed out their season on Dec. 28 with a 28-26 win over Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl.
Oklahoma hires Alex Grinch as defensive coordinator
Oklahoma has hired Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Alex Grinch as defensive coordinator.
The school made the announcement on Friday.
Grinch spent three years as defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Washington State under Mike Leach from 2015-17 and turned a unit that ranked 99th nationally the season before he arrived into one that ranked 16th overall and ninth in pass defense in 2017.
Washington State lands QB on first day of signing period
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State got a quarterback and a pair of running backs among at least 16 players the Cougars signed Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
Gunner Cruz of Gilbert, Arizona, is 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. The running backs are Jamir Thomas of Massillon, Ohio, and Jouvensly Bazil of Naples, Florida.
AP Coach of the Year: Notre Dame’s Kelly wins for 2nd time
Notre Dame's Brian Kelly is The Associated Press college football Coach of the Year and the third coach to win the award twice since it was established in 1998.
Kelly received 16 of 58 first-place votes from AP college football poll voters and 81 total points. Alabama's Nick Saban was second with 16 first-place votes and 66 points and Central Florida first-year coach Josh Heupel was third with 33 points (five first-place votes).
No. 16 Washington shows again how to ground the “Air Raid”
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — When Washington co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake started his week of prep for facing Gardner Minshew and Washington State, he noticed the same foundational plays and concepts he's seen since arriving with the Huskies five years ago.
Even with a new quarterback, an improved run game and some different pass catchers, it was still the same.
For all the Apples: No. 16 Washington faces No. 7 Wazzu
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Located inside the Washington State football complex is a glass enclosure where, when it's in the possession of the crimson and gray, the Apple Cup trophy resides.
It's been five years since the trophy has called Pullman home, and reclaiming ownership on Friday when No. 7 Washington State hosts No. 16 Washington would add a chapter to a season already unlike no other in the Cougars' history.
Surging No. 7 Washington State eyes Pac-12 North title
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — A year that began in tragedy for Washington State is wrapping up with the Cougars on the brink of unparalleled success.
Football coach’s tweet cost $1.6 million in lost donations
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — A fake video of former President Barack Obama sent out in a tweet by Washington State University's head football coach cost the school about $1.6 million in lost donations.
Phil Weiler, the school's vice president for marketing and communications, says donors altered future estate gifts after coach Mike Leach tweeted and then defended the fake video in June.
Cougars seek step toward Pac-12 North title vs Arizona
Washington State has a big game looming against rival No. 17 Washington that could determine the Pac-12 North title and extend the No. 8 Cougars' longshot bid for the College Football Playoff.
But the Apple Cup is next week. First, there's the matter of Saturday's game against Arizona.
"There is nothing more important than Arizona," coach Mike Leach said. "Anyone who thinks other than that is wrong."
Running backs play key role in Washington State’s Air Raid
While quarterback Gardner Minshew is getting most of the attention, running backs James Williams and Max Borghi have also helped fuel the rise of No. 8 Washington State this season.
Williams and Borghi play key roles in the complex Air Raid offense, which is mostly geared to passing.
In Saturday's 31-7 blowout of Colorado, the Cougars rushed a season-high 33 times for 131 yards. The two running backs added eight catches for 77 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.
Minshew leads No. 10 Washington State past Colorado 31-7
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The 10th-ranked Washington State Cougars weren't in any hurry to bury the Buffaloes.
Gardner Minshew II had all day to pick his targets and he overcame a slow start and three fourth-down failures to lead the Cougars past Colorado 31-7 on Saturday.
The Cougars (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12, No. 8 CFP) won their sixth straight, but it wasn't as easy as expected against the Buffaloes (5-5, 2-5), who lost their fifth straight despite the return of star receiver Laviska Shenault Jr.
No. 10 Washington State beats California 19-13
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — California shut down No. 10 Washington State's vaunted Air Raid offense for most of Saturday's game, but the Bears could not quite close the deal.
Gardner Minshew threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Easop Winston Jr. with 32 seconds left to lift Washington State to a 19-13 win over California, extending WSU's long-shot quest to crash the College Football Playoff.
No. 10 Washington St continues quest for playoff facing Cal
Washington State resumes its longshot quest to crash the College Football Playoff as well as its bid to take the Pac-12 North when the No. 10 Cougars host California on Saturday night.
Washington State (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12, No. 8 CFP) is the only remaining Pac-12 team with a single loss, and the Cougars almost certainly need to win out for a chance at their first playoff bid.
Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame top 1st CFP rankings
If you don't like the first College Football Playoff selection committee rankings, don't worry. Saturday's slate of huge games guarantees major changes are coming next week.
Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame were the top four teams in the initial CFP rankings Tuesday night.
AP Top 25 Takeaways: Before 1st CFP rankings, field trimmed
The last weekend before the College Football Playoff rankings debut shook loose some hopefuls, clearing the clutter before the last month of the season.
No. 9 Florida? Done. No. 18 Iowa? There will be no Hawkeyes run. No. 6 Texas? Now a fringe contender at best after being on the short end of Saturday's most significant upset, and one of eight ranked teams to lose to unranked teams this past weekend.
No. 14 Washington St provides tough test for No. 24 Stanford
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — It's never been particularly easy to defend the Air Raid offense that Mike Leach has been running for two decades at several schools.
The version he has now at Washington State is particularly challenging and is a major reason why the 14th-ranked Cougars (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) are having so much success this season heading into Saturday's showdown at No. 24 Stanford (5-2, 3-1).
Larry Scott defending Pac-12′s officiating procedures
SEATTLE (AP) — Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott again defended the conference's handling of its officiating procedures on Saturday after a report cited text messages from Washington State coach Mike Leach questioning the conference's decisions during the Cougars loss to Southern California last month.
Washington State beating predictions with 5-1 start
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington State was expected to be in a rebuilding year, picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 North this season. The Cougars, however, have opened some eyes by posting a 5-1 record going into their bye week.
Don't count Coach Mike Leach among those who think the Cougars have exceeded expectations.
"Not really," Leach said recently. "Our expectations start out pretty high."
Minshew II, Washington St. beats Oregon State 56-37
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — When Washington State fell behind on Saturday, the Cougars' offense responded, and that's part of the team's mindset, said quarterback Gardner Minshew II.
"Any time our backs are to the wall, we're going to come out swinging," Minshew added.
Minshew threw for 430 yards and five touchdowns as Washington State scored 28 straight second half points to beat Oregon State 56-37 on Saturday night.
Oregon St expects Cougars to turn to run more
Facing pass-happy Washington State on Saturday means Oregon State's harried run defense might get a break.
But the Beavers will still have to deal with Gardner Minshew.
The Cougars (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) rushed for no net yards — that's zero — last week against Utah. Instead, Mike Leach's team relied on Minshew's arm.
Washington State’s Minshew is a QB to watch in the Pac-12
At the beginning of the season, Washington State coach Mike Leach played coy with the media — as he often does — over his choice for starting quarterback.
The Cougars had four candidates and Leach wryly said it would be a "thrill a minute" to discover which one would emerge.
Minshew leads Washington St. over E. Washington 59-24
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Graduate transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew didn't start playing with his Washington State teammates until fall drills, but you wouldn't know it from his production.
Minshew threw for 470 yards and two touchdowns as Washington State beat Eastern Washington 59-24 on Saturday night to avenge a 2016 loss to its FCS neighbor.
"We have a bunch of new receivers and a new quarterback," Washington State coach Mike Leach said. "All of it is tuning into one another."
Washington State hosts perilous FCS neighbor E. Washington
Washington State didn't fare so well the last time it hosted its challenging neighbor Eastern Washington.
The FCS school, which has been favored to win the Big Sky Conference this year, upset the Cougars 45-42 on their home field in 2016.
Both are rolling at 2-0 as they prepare to meet in Pullman again on Saturday.
Washington State coach Mike Leach said he doesn't dwell on that last meeting. "You've got to move forward if you want to be really good," Leach said.
Minshew leads Washington State over San Jose State 31-0
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State beat San Jose State 31-0 on Saturday night, but that doesn't mean Cougars' coach Mike Leach was happy with his team.
"I was not impressed with our second half," Leach said, after the Cougars managed just one touchdown after halftime.
"We were too soft," Leach said, especially at running back. "We could get a fast seventh grader and hit the hole as hard as we did."
Leach: Washington St needs to focus on improving every week
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State's next opponent is San Jose State but coach Mike Leach says his Cougars should be focusing on themselves.
"The biggest thing and most important thing is to worry about yourself and try to get better," Leach said. "We need to get a week better this week. That's what we need to focus on."
Washington State gains opening-season 41-19 win at Wyoming
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Washington State's starting quarterback wasn't publicly known until the offense took the field Saturday against Wyoming.
But graduate transfer Gardner Minshew knew he was the starter and responded by throwing for 319 yards and three touchdowns as the Cougars gained a 41-19 season-opening win over the Cowboys.
Minshew, who transferred from East Carolina, completed 38 of 57 attempts.
Prolific Washington St offense opens against tough Wyoming D
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Washington State coach Mike Leach will be getting back to his roots when his Cougars open their season at Wyoming on Saturday.
Leach is a Wyoming native, growing up in Cody just east of Yellowstone National Park where he developed an interest in coaching while playing sports at Cody High School.
Washington State QB depth chart does not reveal starter
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State's depth chart for Saturday's season opener at Wyoming provides little clarity about who will start at quarterback.
The depth chart lists four quarterbacks, and indicates any of the four could start.
Coach Mike Leach said last week that he would name a starter whenever he felt like it, and perhaps not before game time.
The Cougars are seeking to replace four-year starter Luke Falk.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — All four quarterbacks on the Washington State roster will get a chance during fall camp to make their case to start, though coach Mike Leach said he doubts they'll all get equal reps.
Leach opened camp Friday with an eye toward naming a starter about 10 days before the Cougars' Sept. 1 opener at Wyoming.
"We'll look at all four and then we'll try to channel it to the top two as quickly as we can and then go from there," Leach said.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington State football coach Mike Leach and three state legislators are visiting Cambodia, where they met with the prime minister and other government officials this week.
A university spokesman says Leach is paying his own way for the trip, which is not connected to any Washington State University business.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — After years of enjoying the record-setting exploits of quarterback Luke Falk, Washington State faces big questions looking toward next season.
Devout Cougar football fans are probably familiar with the three sins Mike Leach looks upon most unfavorably: drug use, thievery and violence against women.
Leach, the head football coach at Washington State University, has said that any player who commits any of those wrongs will be kicked off the team, no questions asked.
Cougars coach Mike Leach reflects on spring camp and gives an update on the quarterback competition.
Lacking numbers, Mike Leach keeps first-team offensive line together for Washington State spring game
In a perfect world, Mike Leach would’ve divided his offensive linemen into two even teams for Saturday’s Crimson and Gray game at Joe Albi Stadium.
The Cougars didn’t have the numbers. Their coach called an audible.
Video: Washington State coach Mike Leach post Crimson and Gray game
Washington State coach Mike Leach gives his thoughts on Saturday’s spring scrimmage in Spokane.
All eyes on QBs as Washington State moves its spring routine to Spokane for Crimson & Gray game
PULLMAN – In Saturday’s Crimson & Gray game, Trey Tinsley and Anthony Gordon will both have the opportunity to do something that isn’t guaranteed for either after the annual scrimmage at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane.
That is, start at quarterback for the Washington State Cougars.
It could be the first of a few-dozen for one of WSU’s redshirt juniors. It could be the last for the other.
Cougars coach Mike Leach talks about Thursday’s practice and discusses how he follows the NFL Draft.
Mike Leach covers a variety of topics after Tuesday’s practice, including the upcoming spring game and his opinion on rule changes in college football.
Video: Washington State football coach Mike Leach post practice April 10
Mike Leach reflects on the ninth practice of Washington State’s spring camp and talks about tracking a raccoon in the snow while walking home from work.
Trey Tinsley making early strides in Washington State quarterback competition
PULLMAN – Trey Tinsley is aiming to replace Luke Falk, not necessarily emulate him.
Washington State coach Mike Leach discusses the fifth day of spring camp and assesses the play of quarterbacks Trey Tinsley, Anthony Gordon and Cammon Cooper.
WSU football coach Mike Leach talks about the third day of fall camp, new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys and the progress of the offensive line.
Junior college punter Oscar Draguicevich verbally commits to Washington State
PULLMAN – The Cougars may have quelled some of their punting issues on Monday when junior college transfer Oscar Draguicevich announced his verbal commitment to Washington State.
Draguicevich signed with UTEP and first-year coach Dana Dimel on Feb. 7 before decommitting and instead deciding to join Mike Leach and the Cougars. The Hutto, Texas, native will come to WSU after spending one season at Temple Junior College.