The Cougars’ best season in more than a decade earned Mike Leach another year’s extension on his coaching contract, through 2020. Washington State athletics director Bill Moos also announced that defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and assistant head coach/defensive line Joe Salave’a signed multi-year contracts.
Leach’s total guaranteed compensation this year was $2.75 million, trailing only UCLA’s Jim Mora among the Pac-12 public schools. University of Washington coach Chris Petersen made $2.686 million. UW basketball coach Lorenzo Romar made $1.13 million, WSU hoops coach Ernie Kent $1.05 million and UW athletics director Scott Woodward made $719,000.
Coaching salaries come from athletic department revenues and not tax dollars.
“Mike Leach and his entire staff have done a tremendous job in building our football program, and the goal is to keep moving forward,” Moos said in a statement. “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.”
The Cougars finished a 9-4 season with a victory Saturday over Miami at the Sun Bowl, WSU’s first bowl win since the 2003 season. Nine wins are the most since 2003 and included come-from-behind road victories at Rutgers, Oregon and No. 18 UCLA. The Cougars are second in the nation in passing after finishing first last season, and lead all FBS schools in red zone offense.
In his first season as coordinator, Grinch led a rebirth, showing improvement in numerous categories, most notably its 24 turnovers gained, triple the previous season.
Salave’a directed a defensive line that accounted for 7.8 tackles-for-loss per game, eighth nationally. The 102 total TFLs were second-most in school history. Seniors Destiny Vaeao and Darryl Paulo were named the All-Pac-12 second team while Hercules Mata’afa was named to USA Today’s All-Freshman First Team.