(AP) – Mike Leach thought he was exactly what Maryland was looking for in a new coach.
The former Texas Tech coach interviewed for the Maryland job and was thought to be the front-runner to land it, but Randy Edsall was hired away from Connecticut to coach the Terrapins instead.
“I thought it was a good opportunity, but by the same token they have an idea of what it is they’re exactly looking for,” Leach told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Tuesday night.
Leach said he wasn’t upset by the way things played out at Maryland, but did feel as if he met the criteria athletic director Kevin Anderson had laid out when he fired Ralph Friedgen.
“They said they wanted offense and I have the ability to do that,” Leach said. “They said they wanted to sell seats. I know we did that (at Texas Tech). They said they wanted to raise money. I know we did that at an exponentially higher fashion (at Texas Tech).
“Apparently, me and Ralph, neither one of us was what they were looking for.”
Leach was 84-43 in 10 seasons at Texas Tech and his Air Raid offense was consistently one of the most prolific in the country.
Texas Tech fired Leach on Dec. 30, 2009, two days after suspending him amid allegations he mistreated Adam James, a receiver with a concussion. James, the son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James, has said Leach twice ordered him to stand for hours while confined in a dark place during practice.
Leach denies mistreating the player and suspects an $800,000 bonus he was to have received Dec. 31, 2009, was the reason he was fired. He has a pending lawsuit against Texas Tech for wrongful termination and filed a separate libel suit accusing ESPN and a Dallas PR agency of slander.
Leach said he doesn’t believe the lawsuit is preventing him from landing another job.
“It certainly doesn’t impact my ability to coach and it wouldn’t have anything to do with any other schools,” he said.
Leach said he has not been contacted by Pittsburgh or Connecticut, two programs with coaching vacancies.
There has also been some speculation that Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy might reach out to Leach to become the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator, replacing Dana Holgorsen.
Holgorsen, a former Leach assistant, was hired last month by West Virginia as offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting.
Leach, who is living in Key West, Fla., spent this season working as a game analyst for CBS College Sports. He also hosts a sports talk radio on Sirius.
It doesn’t seem likely he will land another head coaching job before next season.
“I don’t have a problem sitting out,” he said. “I’m going to be happy one way or another. The indecision of it is nuisance.”
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