In late November, Mike Leach sent a tweet that seemed too good to be true.
“Hey WSU students, I’m thinking about teaching an evening seminar class next semester (with) my friend Senator Baumgartner,” Leach wrote. “‘Leadership Lessons in Insurgent Warfare & Football Strategy.’ Would meet once a week week for about 6 weeks. Would this be of interest?”
As evidenced by the 4,693 retweets, 44,684 likes and 6,651 responses the inquiry received, such a class would be of extreme interest.
Hey WSU students, I’m thinking about teaching an evening seminar class next semester w my friend Senator Baumgartner. “Leadership Lessons in Insurgent Warfare & Football Strategy.” Would meet once a week for about 6 weeks. Would this be of interest?
— Mike Leach (@Coach_Leach) November 28, 2018
And now, a month and a half later, the class seems like it’s on its way to actually happening.
On Monday, Leach tweeted a prospective syllabus for this hypothetical class.
Partnering with Mike Baumgartner, the Spokane-based Washington state senator who brought Leach along for a trip to Cambodia during the 2018 offseason, the class, which carries the same title Leach tweeted in November, would meet over a series of five Wednesday nights from late March through April.
“This class explores tactics and strategy common in both Guerrilla Warfare and college football to provide a backdrop for critical thinking and leadership lessons,” reads the overview.
Each class session, lasting a planned 90 minutes, would bisect in two parts, just as the title implies: tactics and important moments in the history of Guerrilla warfare and the Air Raid offense.
For instance, the first class would involve two case study discussions. The first is the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. “Why did TE Lawrence and his irregular forces decide NOT to capture Medina from the Turks?” the syllabus asks. The second half of the class would be a film review of Washington State’s 33-10 defeat of No. 5 USC in 2017.
The final class assignment would be to prepare a 7-slide presentation on “recommendations for US policy in Yemen” and design three plays (including one Red Zone) for Washington State to use in its Sept. 13, 2019 game at Houston.
On the surface, the entire topic sounds like an elaborate joke in mixing two topics completely unrelated to each other… until you remember who’s teaching the class. Guerrilla warriors use unconventional tactics seen as “beneath” proper armies to even the playing field against their Establishment opponents — and, really, the Air Raid offense is just the football version of Guerrilla warfare, isn’t it?
Leach’s long-reported fascination with Geronimo isn’t an accident. In that 19th century Apache resistance hero, Leach sees a version of himself, guiding he and his band of misfit followers in a folk tale uprising against the United States army and/or the blue-bloods of the Pac-12 Conference, depending on the hero of this particular story.
Sure, Leach’s class would be an excuse for him to spend 90 minutes talking about the ridiculous intersection of Guerrilla warfare and the Air Raid offense (and whatever tangent happens to strike his fancy) but the real education will be how Leach — himself a revolutionary insurgent who will stand the test of time as a defining figure of his era — sees the world.