Former Cougar coach Mike Leach’s return to Pullman booked, but not until 2031
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State athletics announced Wednesday that the Cougars have agreed to a home-and-home series with Mississippi State in 2030 and 2031.
Former WSU head coach Mike Leach is about to start his first season in charge of the Bulldogs. It will be interesting to see if he is still the coach in Starkville in the next decade.
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Washington State Athletics announced Wednesday that it has added a two game, home-and-home series against Mississippi State to its 2030 and 2031 football schedules.
In the inaugural meeting between the two programs, the Cougars will face the Bulldogs in Starkville, Miss., on Aug. 31, 2030, and Mississippi State will travel to Martin Stadium for the return contest on Aug. 30, 2031. The 2031 game will mark the first time a Southeastern Conference opponent will play in Martin Stadium.
“We are excited to schedule this series with Mississippi State and bring an SEC opponent to Martin Stadium for the first time in school history,” said WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun. “To create a matchup between the Pac-12 and the SEC is always great for our league and the series exemplifies our commitment to schedule top non-conference opponents. We look forward to a fun experience for our student-athletes, alumni and fans in Pullman and Starkville.”
The Cougars and Bulldogs share a few common threads. WSU President Kirk Schulz served multiple roles at Mississippi State from 2001-09, first as director of the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering and four years later became Dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering. He concluded his time in Starkville as Vice President for Research and Economic Development. WSU First Lady Dr. Noel Schulz also served multiple roles at Mississippi State, as director of faculty and women in engineering as well as an Endowed Professorship as the Tennessee Valley Authority Professor in power systems engineering.
Current Mississippi State Head Football Coach Mike Leach spent the previous eight years as the Cougars head coach, guiding WSU to six bowl games, including each of the last five seasons, in that span. Another former Bulldog head football coach, Jackie Sherrill, spent one year in Pullman (1976) and served 13 years as MSU’s head coach (1991-2003) before retiring.
The series against the Bulldogs marks the sixth current Southeastern Conference opponent the Cougars have faced. WSU has also played Alabama, Auburn, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The last WSU contest against an SEC opponent came in the 2013 season-opener at Auburn.
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