November 27th, 2011 at 1:27 PM ^

Leach is an interesting guy. I had a long talk with him this year at a sports analytics conference while he was dipping and spitting in his empty Coors bottle, and he said he wanted to a see a 64 team playoff and I was like woah. He's unconventional and very opinionated, but if he can get his players to buy in they would have a higher ceiling than Zook did.

Regardless, the man can coach offense and for a middle of the road BCS program like Illinois  he might be just what they need. He would bring a dangerous offense and in the right years could be a contender in the B1G (gulp) Leaders division. I'm interested to see what kind of coaches Illinois goes after. Especially with them in the other division, I kind of hope they manage to make a good hire and become a more respectable program for the B1G than they were during the Zook years.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

I think Leach would be a good hire for any middle of the road BCS type school.  While he hasn't had sustained successes, his teams can show up and beat anybody on any given day it seems.  Only got to worry about the baggage he brings with thim.  Illinois might want to go after him after the offensive woes they've had lately. 


November 27th, 2011 at 3:14 PM ^

I lived down there and success is to actually damn it with faint praise.  Tech is an outpost school in a blah city, with a very average winning history, and he made it attractive to value type athletes who got overlooked by Texas and OU. He took guys who were a couple inches too short or whatever and didn't get the big notice from the scouting services, and won with them.  He'd do even better with a place like Illinois or UCLA where he'd have a shot at attracting 4- star and better guys.  


November 27th, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

And I was surprised just how sharp he was. He's one smart MOFO. Very rough around the edges, but the guy would make Illinois a winner as soon as he got a little more talent there....


I don't think Illinois has the balls to hire him. He's a bit too controversial for their base and if he didn't win immediatley, I don't think he'd be able to escape the mob of Champaign-Urbanans.


November 27th, 2011 at 3:05 PM ^

Whatever tiny residual chance Leach had at a future college coaching career before the James crap at Tech disappeared when he sued his former dean and institution. Once you do that your career in academia is over.

He might land a job at a high school or junior college somewhere; he'll never sniff another BCS-level job.


November 27th, 2011 at 3:37 PM ^

It really doesn't have much to do with the James thing--he'd get a pass on that. He won't get a pass on the lawsuit; he won't get a pass on the way he handled his annual contract renegotiations at Tech. Don't troll/beg prospective employers for interviews just to use them as leverage against your current employer--they'll find out about it, and eventually so will everyone you might look to for a job.

It's worth remembering that the Kentucky job (where he'd been OC) came open twice while he was at Tech; he wasn't even considered either time. There's more going on here than is visible to the public.


November 27th, 2011 at 1:46 PM ^

The Better Illnois is Directly Affects how Good Norte Dame will be since they routinely recruit the same players... If Illnois can be respectable and nap all them Chicago kids... The Golden Domers might even become more Irrlevant


November 27th, 2011 at 2:03 PM ^

Think more critically! Illinois needs someone who can recruit that area of the country effectively! Somebody with a long history, stability. Not a flash in the pan. There is only ONE man for the Illinois job:


November 27th, 2011 at 2:31 PM ^

What is it about Illinois that leads to perennial mediocrity?  They have had some decent coaches through the years (and some not so good) and they have a decent team about once a decade, but then it's right back to their .500 or worse winning percentage.  They've had two coaches with above .500 winning percentages in the past 50 years: Mike White at  .533 and John Mackovic at .663.  It's been all down hill since then: Tepper (.446), Turner (.380), Zook (.376).


November 27th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

Illinois is kind of like Notre Dames little brother in the Chicagoland area. I'd even say Michigan is a more popular choice than Illinois for kids in northern Illinois. And there aren't too many recruits from southern or central Illinois so they're kind of in a dead zone.

Same thing happens for basketball. Imagine if Bruce Weber could successfully recruit Chicago, they'd be a powerhouse. Unfortunately for them, any school in the country has just a good of a shot getting those kids as Illinois.