NCF Nation: Michael Lewis
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach couldn't have asked for a better promotional device than appearing as an interview subject on the popular CBS program 60 Minutes.
Leach was interviewed by Scott Pelley, a Lubbock native who graduated from Tech with a journalism degree. Pelley said during the segment that he didn't want to do the story, but was convinced by a program producer to return to his old home for the story on Tech's coach.
The program dealt with Leach's card tricks, his friendship with Donald Trump, his interest in pirates and the Geronimo's Death Certificate in his office along with Tech's high-powered inventive offensive attack.
The 60 Minutes report comes on the heels of perhaps Leach's most embarrassing loss in his coaching tenure at the school. The Red Raiders dropped a 47-34 decision to Mississippi in the AT&T Cotton Bowl last week, costing the program a chance to notch its winningest season.
Interestingly, the program made no mention of the bowl game loss or how much Mississipi wide receiver Mike Wallace led to the defeat. Wallace, who shares the name with one of the most prominent names in 60 Minutes' esteemed history, torched the Red Raiders for four catches in their victory, including a 41-yard strike.
Tech or Leach couldn't have complained too much about the report. The primary voice in the story was Michael Lewis, who penned an extensive article about Leach for the New York Times Sunday Magazine in 2005.
Lewis called Leach one of the most important college football coaches in the last decade.
"Mike Leach has had a huge intellectual influence on the sport already," Lewis said on the program. "When you look at Big 12 football game now, versus 10 years ago, it's a completely different event because everybody is watching Mike Leach's offense."
And Lewis said that he believes that Leach could become a huge winner if he ever coached at a traditional power.
"Just wait," Lewis said. "God help if he gets ahold of the sort of athletes they get at places like Texas or Oklahoma or USC. Nobody else will stand a chance."
Leach also said agreeing to the interview was part of his plan to raise Tech's recruiting profile.
"I hope the next Graham Harrell or Michael Crabtree are sitting in their living rooms and they are astute, studious guys in addition to being talented," Leach said on the program. "They say, 'I know what. The (NFL) game is over but I want to watch 60 Minutes. Oh, Texas Tech on 60 Minutes. That's me.'
"And then they come here. Hopefully, it will turn out that way."
The 60 Minutes report couldn't have hurt in that quest.