After guiding the Texas Tech Football program to its most successful regular season in school history, Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach has been named the recipient of the George Munger Award, presented annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the college coach of the year.
Texas Tech, ranked seventh in the BCS poll, rose as high as No. 2 this season, its highest in school history. The program's 11-1 record marks the best regular season in school history, while the Red Raiders' 7-1 conference record also is a program best. Under Leach's guidance, Texas Tech leads the nation in passing for the sixth time in the last nine seasons and boasts the most All-Americans in a single season in school history.
Quarterback Graham Harrell, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and offensive linemen Brandon Carter and Rylan Reed all earned All-America first-team status this season. The only time Texas Tech has placed more than one player on an All-America first team was in 1995, when Zach Thomas and Marcus Coleman were named on the defense.
Leach and his accomplished staff of assistant coaches are preparing the Red Raiders for the AT&T Cotton Bowl, Texas Tech's ninth bowl appearance under Leach and the third post-New Year's bowl during the same stretch. The Red Raiders are 5-3 in bowls during Leach's tenure, and the five wins match the number of bowl wins during the program's 75 seasons prior to Leach's hiring in 2000.
The award is named for former Pennsylvania coach George Munger, who was devoted to ethics in athletics and committed to education as the standard for which all college coaches should strive. The award is voted on by head football coaches, members of the Maxwell Football Club and sportswriters and sportscasters from across the country.
Previous winners include Greg Schiano (Rutgers), Joe Paterno (Penn State), Urban Meyer (Florida), Pete Carroll (USC), Ralph Friedgen (Maryland), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech) and Gene Stallings (Alabama).