Washington State University Head Football Coach Mike Leach has been named the Football Bowl Subdivision American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Coach of the Year, the organization announced Tuesday.
“This is a great team award and I am honored to accept this on behalf of our team,” said Leach.
Leach guided Washington State to an 11-2 record, a No. 10 final ranking in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls, and a victory in the Valero Alamo Bowl over Iowa State last month. The 11 wins in 2018 set a single-season school record, and he is the first Cougar head coach to lead Washington State to four straight bowl games.
Leach, the first AFCA National Coach of the Year in WSU history, saw the Cougar Air Raid offense lead the nation in passing while the defense led the conference in sacks and tied for second in takeaways. Leach had previously been named AFCA Regional Coach of the Year in 2008 while at Texas Tech and is the first WSU coach since Mike Price in 2002 to receive the regional honor.
Leach, who joins Mike Price as the only Cougar coach to earn National Coach of the Year honors (1997), has an overall record of 49-40 in his seven seasons at Washington State, including five bowl appearances, and an overall record of 133-83 in his 17 years as head coach at WSU and Texas Tech. He led the Red Raiders to 10 bowl bids and owns the school record with 84 victories.
The winners are selected by a vote of the Active AFCA members at four-year schools in the Association’s five divisions. For FBS, the other four regional winners were Dino Babers of Syracuse, Nick Saban of Alabama, Brian Kelly of Notre Dame and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell.
The winners will be honored Tuesday evening during the American Football Coaches Awards at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
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