Longtime college football coach Mike Leach isn’t one to refrain from speaking his mind, but he usually waits until after the games to do it. However, Leach was so furious at the referees during one 2007 game that he decided to place a call to his conference’s commissioner in the middle of the action.
Leach is currently the head coach at Washington State University, but in 2007, he was thoroughly entrenched at Texas Tech University. Graham Harrell, Leach’s quarterback at Texas Tech, was well acquainted with the coach’s fiery temper.
During an interview with Aaron Dickens of RedRaiderSports.com, Harrell recalled a classic scene from Leach’s tenure at Texas Tech. On Nov. 10, 2007, the Red Raiders were in the midst of an away game against the University of Texas when Leach became angry with the game’s officials, whom he believed had cost his school a pair of touchdowns. Harrell claims that Leach decided to address the issue by calling Dan Beebe, Big 12 commissioner from 2007 to 2011, in the middle of the game.
"I can remember in the third quarter, he's pulling his cell phone out. He always talked to me between series, so he's talking to me and he pulls his cell phone out and he called the Big 12 commissioner," Harrell said. "He's, like, cussing out the Big 12 commissioner, telling him like, 'These refs are screwing us. You better watch my postgame press conference because I've got some stuff to say.'"
Ultimately, Texas Tech lost the game by a score of 59-43, and Leach followed through on the threat he made during the phone call. The coach called the game’s officiating “a complete travesty,” prompting Beebe to slap him with a $10,000 fine, Deadspin notes. Six years later, the fine is still the largest penalty in the history of the Big 12 Conference.
[h/t Football Scoop]
Tom Barrabi is a reporter for the International Business Times. He graduated from Fairfield University in 2011, and has also written for Men's Fitness, Complex, GuySpeed, and...