Big 12: North Alabama Lions

Posted by's Tim Griffin

It's a little light today as Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State take this week off from spring practice.

But there's still some news around the Big 12. Here are a few links of interest from around the conference.  

Leach reflects on similarities between law career, coaching

January, 19, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

I wonder what kind of lawyer Mike Leach would have turned out to be. He probably would have been much like the attorney Perry Mason, with a little Ernest Frye sprinkled in for good measure.

Mason made a career out of tormenting Hamilton Berger, the district attorney on the old television show who was kind of like Mason's personal Baylor over the program's long history, if you put it in football terms. And Frye, played by Sherman Hemsley on the old television show "Amen," had a shingle that read "Attorney-at-Law, Ernest Frye -- Where Winning is Everything."

Leach graduated from Pepperdine Law School before starting his career as an assistant football coach. It represents one of the more unusual career moves to get into the coaching profession, shared by fellow coaches like UCLA's Rick Neuheisel and North Alabama's Terry Bowden.

The Texas Tech coach sat down with Texas Lawyer magazine (hat tip to the Dallas Morning News) for an extensive interview about all things legal and football. The story provides several intriguing quotes that provide some insight into how going to law school shaped Leach's coaching career.

After working as a clerk in the Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Defender's Office and with a solo practitioner in Los Angeles, Leach said he wrote legendary trial lawyer Gerry Spencer a letter about law as a career. Spencer told him that if he wasn't consumed by law, he should never consider working as a lawyer.

There are several similarities between the two jobs, Leach told Texas Lawyer.

"In both, you have never enough time. There is always more that you could feature, more that you could research," Leach said. "You have to pick out key things and the key things that are going to feature your side. Preparing for a game is very similar to trial planning. You review videos instead of books and then at the end of the week, instead of trial, there is a game."

And Leach is convinced that the demands are greater in his job than if he had ended up working as a lawyer.

"In coaching," Leach said, "you work every day of the week."