EXCLUSIVE NewsChannel 11 Sports Interview: One on one with Mike Leach - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/18/09

EXCLUSIVE NewsChannel 11 Sports Interview: One on one with Mike Leach

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas Tech Head Football Coach Mike Leach is focused on football, football and football; starting a new season with spring drills commencing 5 weeks from Wednesday on March 25th.

Some think the regents will fire Leach Friday. Others believe he'll work under the two years he has left on his current deal and both sides will re-discuss options for an extension.

Here is the entire transcript Pete Christy's exclusive one on one interview with Coach Leach.

Pete Christy: Any concerns about being fired on Friday?

Mike Leach:  No not really.  I mean, my thing on that is that's like John Wooden says "you're best is always enough."  Every day that I've been at Tech they've gotten my best and so if that takes me a negative direction then I have to live with it, because I did the best I could.  And so, I don't have any reservations.  It's not like there's anything I held back to begin with.

PC:  And obviously you still have two years left on your contract?

ML:  Two years left on my contract and I'm excited about those next two years, and hopefull [I will]  be here for a long time to come.

PC:  Are you going to try to get back to the table eventually and add more because this can hurt recruiting?

ML:  Well I hope so.  I hope it turns out that way.  Like I say, it's just something that people gotta work through. 

PC:  You want to stay here in Lubbock?

ML:  Well there's no question and there's never been any question on that really from the beginning.  I've been here for 9 years. With my staff and our players We've had a chance to be the winningest staff in the history of Texas Tech.  And we want to do that. We know a lot of people and the nuances of Lubbock and that type of thing.  And all my kids have grown up here so Lubbock is a special place no matter what.

PC:  In September, you got North Dakota coming, do you expect to be running out with the team?

ML:  Oh, absolutely.  And I have from the beginning. I mean, things didn't work out with the contract.  There was an offer that really didn't measure up to the market and so I've chosen to continue with the two years that are already on my contract.  And you know I've never really heard of somebody getting fired for wanting to stay on the contract that they're currently on.  It would be something certainly new to me and maybe a lot of other people as well. 

PC:  The contract troubles: it's not about money?

ML:  No, it's never been about money.  It's just the four restrictive clauses.

PC:  Were you surprised that those got put in there?

ML:  Well, everybody was shocked.  It was after about a year of negotiating.  Everybody expected to sign a contract and then really overnight here are these four clauses, any one of which is impossible to accept.

PC:  Any chance of this coming together in the next couple of days?

ML:  That's impossible for me to gauge really.  I can't really gauge it and I try not to think about it very much, just go about the task at hand. 

PC:  Have you been able to get focused on spring drills coming up next month?

ML:  Well, it's challenging but at some point this is going to pass and we're going to be able to focus on spring drills.  And we're really excited about it because I think we're going to have a great spring. We had the best recruiting class we've had and we've got a chance to have the best spring drills we've ever had.  I just want the thing over so we can coach football. And I think me and my staff; we've all done our best to do that with the distractions and just coach.  There's been some encumbrances there and hopefully after Friday those will end and just full steam towards the off-season and spring football.

PC:  Friday the Regents meet.  What would you want to say to the Regents?

ML:  I think they know it all.  I think our excitement to coach and play football is contagious and what we've achieved here I don't think would have happened without a large level of enthusiasm with our coaches and our players.  And they're sharp people so I think they'll recognize that.

PC:  What would you like to say to the Red Raider fans?

ML:  Guns up and we're looking forward to this season and just excited to go coach and play.

The football season opener is exactly 200 days away!!!

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