Rece Davis reflects on Mike Leach's legacy and calls him an innovator, 'eclectic and mold-breaking' coach
Rece Davis spent time with Mike Leach when the ESPN broadcaster called games. On Tuesday, Davis recalled on “First Take” how Leach once changed the conversation during a production meeting to Cuban coffee, and something he brought from Key West, Florida.
Overall, Davis said he would remember Leach as an “eclectic and mold-breaking” guy in the coaching profession. Typically, when a broadcaster spends time with a coach, Davis said it takes time to break through into the essence of their personality.
“With Mike, it was almost instantaneous,” Davis said.
Because of the all-consuming nature of the current college football coaching profession, Davis said you simply don’t find others who approach life the way Leach did. Davis admitted that Leach could be gruff, didn’t appeal to everyone and offended some.
“In his soul, I’ve always believed Mike was a good man who cared about the players and certainly was a terrific coach and one of the great characters in the modern history of the game,” Davis said.
Davis then reflected on Leach from the perspective of coaching greats.
“You will think of him as one of the great innovators of the game, a guy who defied convention,” Davis said. “He would talk about run-pass balance. He would say 50% run, 50% pass is 50% stupid. He just wanted to move the ball either way. … I will think of him as one of the great innovators, but the record won’t necessarily put him down in the annals of the greatest coaches.”
Leach was 158-107 in 21 seasons as a head coach.