MIKE LEACH TO ATTEND COUGAR HARDWOOD CLASSIC

SEATTLE – Idol Sports & Entertainment today announced that Mike Leach will be introduced during the seventh annual Cougar Hardwood Classic, featuring the Washington State University and Pepperdine University men’s basketball teams at KeyArena on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.

Leach, who was named the WSU head football coach on Nov. 30, will be in Seattle for the Cougars’ annual game at KeyArena.  In 10 seasons as head coach at Texas Tech (2000-09), Leach’s program earned 10 bowl bids and recorded a school-record 84 victories.

The new coach has ties to both schools playing in Thursday’s basketball game.  The obvious being the new head coach at WSU.  However Coach Leach is also a Pepperdine graduate.  In 1986, Leach earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Pepperdine University School of Law.

In 2008, Texas Tech set a program record with 11 regular-season wins, and was ranked as high as second in the nation. That year Leach received three national coach of the year awards: the Woody Hayes Award, the Howie Long/FieldTurf Coach of the Year, and George Munger Award, while quarterback Graham Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree finished fourth and fifth, respectively in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Prior to Texas Tech Leach spent one season as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma (1999), as the Sooners set six Big 12 Conference and 17 school records. He spent two seasons in a similar capacity at Kentucky (1997-98), the only two seasons in school history in which it passed for more than 4,000 yards while setting six NCAA and 41 Southeastern Conference records.

This will be the fifth time WSU and Pepperdine have played each other, and the first since 1986 with the all-time series tied, 2-2. The Cougars (7-4) enter Thursday’s contest on a five game winning streak and have won all six previous games in the annual KeyArena series. Pepperdine (6-4) is led by first-year head coach Marty Wilson and senior forward Taylor Darby, who leads the Waves in scoring (12.0 PPG), is second in rebounding (6.7 RPG), and has played in each of the team’s 96 games the past three years.

Tickets for the Cougar Hardwood Classic are available through Ticketmaster or at the KeyArena box office. WSU students can pick up a complimentary ticket by presenting their student ID at the east entrance student pick up the night of the game.