Washington State’s Leach agrees to $20 million extension

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Washington State football coach Mike Leach on Monday agreed to a five-year, $20 million contract extension.

The extension agreement came after Leach’s name was linked to other jobs, most notably at Tennessee, in recent weeks. The Cougars went 9-3 in the regular season and are preparing for the Holiday Bowl against Michigan State.

The revised contract agreement will pay Leach $3.5 million in 2018, $3.75 million in 2019 and $4 million annually from 2020-22. Leach will also obtain a one-time retention bonus of $750,000 if he stays with the school through the 2020 season.

Leach’s pool of money for assistant coaches will be bumped by $400,000 for the 2018 season, and the school acknowledged the need for a new indoor practice facility.

”Coach Leach has led a spectacular turnaround in the fortunes of our football program during the last six years, and we want to keep him in the Cougar family for a long time to come,” school President Kirk Schulz said in a news release.

Schulz said the success of the football program had benefited the entire university.

”Intercollegiate athletics are a critical front door to every university,” Schulz said.

This season, Leach guided the Cougars to a third consecutive bowl appearance, a first for a WSU head coach. He is also the first coach at WSU to post three consecutive winning seasons since Jim Sutherland did so from 1957-59.

”I would like to thank President Schulz and Washington State for their commitment to Cougar football,” Leach said. ”We have accomplished some great things in our time here and my staff and I are excited to lead WSU Cougar football into the future.”

Washington State is digging out of a multimillion-dollar budget deficit, including in athletics. Leach, formerly at Texas Tech, was paid $3 million this season.

In his six seasons at Washington State, Leach is 38-37 and has qualified for four bowl games in the past five years. Before he arrived, WSU had only gone to 10 bowls in its history.

Additionally, WSU’s attendance has gone from 76.1 percent of capacity in 2011, the year before he arrived, to 97.1 percent this season.

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