As of 1:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, Mike Leach was no longer the head football coach at Texas Tech. The school fired leach after ten seasons amid allegations he mistreated a player who was suffering from a concussion.
Adam James, son of Craig James and a wide receiver for the Red Raiders, accused Leach of forcing him to stay in a dark closet during a three-hour practice after sustaining a concussion.
Leach was the face of Texas Tech football, taking the program to unprecedented heights during his tenure. He compiled a record of 84-45 in Lubbock, including a 5-4 record in bowl games.
During his time as head coach, the Red Raiders produced future NFL stars including Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree, who was a two-time Biletnikoff winner as the nation's best wide receiver.
Despite his success with the Red Raiders, his relationship with the administration at the school was strenuous to say the least. Over the past several years, Leach has either flirted with other head coaching jobs that did not seem to be any better jobs than the one at Texas Tech, leading people to believe he never felt wanted by the powers that be in Lubbock.
However, Leach leaves a program in great shape, and with the right hire, Texas Tech could not skip a beat in its quest to compete with Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 South.
The no-brainer leading candidate for this job is Houston's Kevin Sumlin. The Cougars are 10-3 this season, including a win earlier this season over Leach and the Red Raiders.
Sumlin's offense is very similar to what Leach implemented at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders attempted 615 passes this season, while the Cougars threw the ball 706 in 13 games, one more game Tech.
Leach made a name for himself by developing unheralded quarterback prospects into some of the nation's leading passers. Kliff Kingsbury, Sonny Cumbie, and Graham Harrell are a few examples of players who lead the nation in passing yardage as the Red Raiders' quarterback this decade.
In 2009, Sumlin accomplished a similar feat with Case Keenum, who leads the nation with 5,449 passing yards this season. Second place in that category is Levi Brown from Troy, with 3,868.
Sumlin has turned Houston into an offensive juggernaut in only his second season on the job. With his ties to the state of Texas and his immediate success with the Cougars, the Red Raiders would be very wise to throw quite a lump sum Sumlin's way (no pun intended), to pull him from Houston.