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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Texas Tech in talks with Leach? Agent denies it's so

ESPN.com news services

Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers says the school is negotiating a contract extension with Mike Leach, amid reports that the Red Raiders' coach has met with the University of Washington about the Huskies' top job.

However, Leach's agent told ESPN's Joe Schad that no talks are currently under way.

"We have not received any information about Mike Leach's contract from Texas Tech via phone, mail, e-mail or fax," Leach's agent, Gary O'Hagan, said Wednesday. "At no point has there been any offer. There have not been negotiations."

Myers couldn't confirm newspaper reports that Leach was in Seattle this week to talk to UW officials. Myers said Leach, named Big 12 coach of the year on Tuesday, didn't seek permission for an interview and that he hadn't been contacted by Washington.

Leach has two years remaining on a five-year contract and is making $1.75 million this season.

The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported the Leach-UW meeting, citing unidentified sources. ESPN has also confirmed that Leach met with Washington.

"I think he would if he's serious about it," Myers said, according to the Avalanche-Journal. "I think he would let me know. So I don't know. He wouldn't have to tell me, but I haven't heard from anybody, the coaches or anybody else about that."

Myers said he's had contract numbers in mind for Leach, but added that Texas Tech's 11-1 record and share of the Big 12 South title had increased what Leach deserves, according to the Avalanche-Journal.

"Oh, yeah. Yeah, definitely," Myers said, according to the report. "I think that was part of our reasoning [for waiting until December], to see exactly what the team accomplished, how they did, and I think it will have an impact on the numbers. We've always tried to compensate our coaches on what they accomplish."

Myers said last month that any contract discussions with Leach would wait until after the season. On Wednesday, Myers said he didn't want to wait until after Texas Tech's bowl game, which hasn't been determined yet.

Leach did not return calls seeking comment on Tuesday, the newspaper reported.

An Alaska Airlines employee privy to passenger lists confirmed that Leach and his wife arrived in Seattle on Monday afternoon and left Tuesday around noon, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Leach's agent, Gary O'Hagan, would not confirm that Leach interviewed with Washington.

"We're moving along and making some good progress, talking to lots of people, which is what we wanted," university president Mark Emmert said of the search, according to The Seattle Times. "I think we will be able to resolve this in the near future, but I'm not going to tell you what I mean by near future. But I'm really confident we are going to have a coach in place before the LSU game."

The winless Huskies (0-11) are looking for a new head coach to take over for Tyrone Willingham after the current season ends with Saturday's game against Cal.

A representative of Auburn has also reached out to Leach, through intermediaries, to gauge his interest in the opening, on Tuesday night, a person familiar with the conversation told Schad.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.