Washington State coach Mike Leach has never been one to mince words, and he sure didn’t hold back after his team’s 38-13 loss to Utah on Saturday. In his opening comments, Leach went right in on his team’s inability to play through adversity, calling his players “soft” along with “fat, dumb and happy and entitled.”
The loss is Washington State’s second after giving up a 32-point second-half lead to UCLA in Week 4. Leach remarked specifically how this team had many of the same players from last year, but lacked the same toughness.
“We’re a very soft team. We get a lot of good press. We like to read it a lot. We like to pat ourselves on the back, and if we get any resistance, we fold,” Leach said. “And what’s amazing about this is most of these guys were on the same team last year that was a tough team. Last year’s team was a tough team for us. We have nearly the same guys and now all of a sudden they’re not tough. They’re fat, dumb and happy and entitled.
“I think we have a bunch of free agents running around thinking they’re pretty special and then as soon as something doesn’t go their way they want to pout. I think it’s more collectively soft,” he continued. “I really think over the offseason despite the fact we had incredibly hard work … we get to the season and I think some collection of sitting around the apartments all the time talking about how great we’re going to be, eventually it evolves to how easy it’s going to be. As soon as we face resistance, we don’t even fight it.”
You can watch the press conference clip below:
It’s worth noting that Leach did say that the Cougars’ coaching staff “didn’t get through” to the players. His more interesting comments came after the initial rant when he talks about looking inward and doing the right things when no one is around. Indeed, after dropping two straight games, it’s time for Washington State to do a little self-reflection.
Leach’s comments are on-brand for him. They closely mirror his “fat little girlfriends” remarks when he was at Texas Tech. Calling out his players publicly, and unapologetically, when things are going poorly is a common thing for him. If nothing else, he is the same person every day and maybe that works for him and his players.
But losing is a top-down thing, too. Leach makes nearly $4 million a year to get through to the players he so vehemently believes shouldn’t be paid beyond what they already receive. Is anyone calling him fat, dumb and entitled when he fails to do so? Because in nearly 20 years of being a head coach he doesn’t have so much as an outright divisional title.