Has Leach's relationship with Gerald Myers been broken?
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
An interesting sidelight following the settlement of Mike Leach's contract impasse will be his relationship with Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers.
The two were involved in contentious negotiations that weren't settled until Tech chancellor Kent Hance and Leach conducted one-on-one, 11th-hour negotiations Thursday afternoon.
"To put it mildly this has been a tough negotiation," Myers said. "It's been a tough time. It's good to get it behind us. It's done and we're pleased."
The dialogue didn't pick up until Myers and Leach's agents were left out of the bargaining.
"I said that I wanted Mike to be our coach," Myers said. "That got lost with the rhetoric and specifics of the negotiating process. But I never wavered on that point. I'm excited about our football team."
But it's clear that Leach has seldom been on the same page as Myers, a former basketball coach at the school who still holds the school record with 326 career victories.
At one point earlier in the negotiations, Leach proposed being placed in charge of all football operations for the school -- in a sense serving as the school's de-facto athletic director for the sport.
Myers, who turns 72 in August, has spent as much time in the Red Raiders' athletic department as any individual.
With the exception of eight years as head basketball coach at Lubbock Monterey High School and three years as the coach at Houston Baptist College, Myers has been affiliated with Tech since 1955, when he arrived to play basketball with Polk Robinson.
But his recent tenure has been marked with several uneven hirings that has prompted the wrath of many fans.
He brought his close friend Bob Knight to Lubbock in 2001, giving him a chance to resurrect his coaching career when few other Division I athletic directors would take the chance.
Knight rewarded that trust with four NCAA berths in his first six seasons at Tech before abruptly quitting in the middle of last season.
His son, Pat Knight, has struggled in his first full season as head coach. The Red Raiders are 12-14, scrambling to stay out of the Big 12 cellar.
Women's basketball coach Kristy Curry, who took over for her iconic predecessor, Marsha Sharp, has also had an uneven start in building her program. Her record is 46-43 after two-plus seasons coaching the Lady Raiders.
While men's and women's basketball attendance has tumbled with the recent lean years, Leach's football program has turned into a cash cow for the Red Raiders.
Leach remains Myers' most notable hire. After serving as offensive coordinator on Bob Stoops' first staff at Oklahoma in 1999, Myers gave Leach his first head coaching opportunity over the other finalist for the job, Rich Rodriguez.
The Red Raiders have made bowl trips in all nine of Leach's seasons, and have claimed as many bowl victories (five) as in the combined 75-season history of the Tech program. The school set records for attendance and grade-point average in the most-recent season.
But that success hasn't made his relationship with his boss any smoother.
And considering that Leach won the power struggle to earn his new contract, it will be interesting to see how it affects Myers.