Bruce Feldman and Mike Leach first teamed up for the best selling book “Swing Your Sword” a few years ago. For those that haven’t read it, it’s well worth picking up and digging into during the off season. That relationship helped form a connection between the two that takes a typical Mike Leach interview to the next level.
The 40-minute interview above is exactly what I mean. For those of you out there crunched for time, I recapped some of the best sound bytes below.
The first 12 minutes or so are almost exclusively Feldman baiting Leach into style and wardrobe questions, which with any coach other than Mike Leach (and perhaps Les Miles) would be rather boring. After that they move onto some interesting and hypothetical coaching content including if Leach would ever consider ditching the Air Raid offense.
On the difference of style between Kliff Kingsbury and Barry Switzer: “This is a point that has been lost in the metrosexual generation. You know, there aren’t 25 different types of jeans. There are Levi’s and Wranglers.”
“Those are the only two types of jeans that exist. All that other stuff is ‘slacks’, and anyone that views anything as jeans beyond Levi’s and Wranglers, they are simply incorrect.”
“I have a lot of decisions to make everyday, and spending very much time on deciding what I’m going to wear is not going to be one of them.”
On whether he would be more inclined to wear a fur coat or a Kingsbury style v-neck: “Well the fur coat is a change-up, that’s not a steady diet kind of thing. I would definitely do a change up. I could be talked into a change-up just for the fun of it pretty easily.”
On the coaching uniform and how he wants to include shorts in the options: “If it wouldn’t create such a ridiculous national stir, I would love to be able to coach a game in shorts.”
“I would love to see the coaching uniform, for games, expand to shorts. It would suit me tremendously. You see right now, and I joke about it and other coaches joke about it, but we have a uniform just like they do at McDonalds and Burger King. You can tell a coach, especially when you go out recruiting, you can tell a coach a mile away. They’ve got the polo shirt and the khaki jeans and the loafers on, it’s the most stereotypical thing in the world.”
“Maybe the year I retire I’ll take some more wardrobe risks.”
On a personal note, why would Mike Leach coaching a game in shorts be a national story? We all know that’s exactly what would happen the moment he came out of the tunnel in cargo shorts. Why not let the man coach in what he’s most comfortable wearing? C’mon now.
On if he would ever wear a fur coat, Barry Switzer style, on the sideline: “If I wear the fur coat, what are the chances that nude girls are going to come up and throw paint on me? Because if I was guaranteed that, I probably would. I think it would be really good for recruiting.”
On what made Bob Stoops a great boss: “Well first of all, Bob is a fantastic guy, he’s great person. There was a lot of camaraderie. It was very supportive, and fun and exciting to be a part of. The other thing I thought Bob did a great job of, and since I’ve become a head coach I’ve always tried to remember, is that Bob never strayed from the fundamentals.”
On if he were to be stranded in the wilderness with Kyle Whittingham or Dana Holgorsen: “I don’t know if Kyle is much of a camping / outdoor guy. He’s remarkably resilient, and is in great shape, and looks really mountain man-ish, and he’s a great skier, but I don’t know if he’s really the fish and hunt crowd(?). In the end I think he’d survive because I think he could fend off all the packs of vicious animals, but how much food is he really going to put on the table for the cause?”
“Dana would perish. I think Dana would be really fun the first three days, and then he’d eat up all the provisions and who knows where he would end up.”
“It’s funny because the longer you are a head coach, the more office and corporate you get. So your skills on such a thing diminish some.”
On what it would take to ditch the Air Raid for another offensive scheme: “I don’t think it would ever be wholesale across the board, for a couple reasons. One is the stuff that I’ve been doing for 20 years, everyone is moving in that direction, and not away from it. “
“Every year we may change a technique or a drill here or there, but in order to make a real dramatic change of a lot of plays, you don’t just ‘fit them in’. If I change out half of my plays, I have to know that the other half I’m bringing in is better than what I’m getting rid of.”
“The other thing that you have to understand, is that everywhere there are good plays. There are cycles to football, and there are plays, and formations and things that are trends.”
Another personal note: College football without Leach and Les Miles would be incredibly boring. Fact.