PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Tuesday that he and head coach Mike Leach have agreed to a provision in Leach’s contract to extend the agreement an additional year through the 2020 season. In addition, defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and assistant head coach/defensive line Joe Salave’a have signed multi-year contracts to remain part of Coach Leach’s staff.
“Mike Leach and his entire staff have done a tremendous job in building our football program, and the goal is to keep moving forward,” said Moos. “Cougar football has returned to the upper echelon of collegiate football where it most deservedly belongs. I believe I speak for all Cougar fans when I say we want Mike Leach leading our football program for many years to come.”
This season Leach guided the Cougars to a 9-4 record and a victory in the 2015 Sun Bowl, WSU’s first bowl win since the 2003 season. The Cougars’ nine wins are the most since 2003 and included come-from-behind road victories at Rutgers, Oregon and No. 18 UCLA. Additionally, the Cougars are second in the nation in passing after finishing first last season, and currently led all FBS schools in red zone offense.
In his first season as defensive coordinator, Grinch has led a rebirth of the Cougar defense. In 2015 WSU’s defense showed improvement in numerous categories, most notably, its 24 turnovers gained were three times as many as the previous season. The defense also improved considerably by allowing nearly 11 fewer points and 26 fewer yards per game, as well as recording more sacks and tackles-for-loss than 2014.
Salave’a continued to lead a defensive line that is at the forefront of the defense. In 2015 the Cougars accounted for 7.8 tackles-for-loss per game, eighth nationally, while the 102 total TFLs were the second-most in school history. Seniors Destiny Vaeao and Darryl Paulo were named the 2015 All-Pac-12 Second Team while Hercules Mata’afa was named to USA Today’s All-Freshman First Team.