Dec. 20, 2011
SEATTLE - Idol Sports & Entertainment today announced that Washington State University's new head football coach, Mike Leach, will attend the seventh annual Cougar Hardwood Classic, featuring the WSU and Pepperdine University men's basketball teams at KeyArena, Thursday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.
Leach, who was named head coach at Washington State Nov. 30, also has ties to Pepperdine, where he earned a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the university's School of Law in 1986 before entering the coaching ranks.
In 10 seasons as head coach at Texas Tech (2000-09) Leach's program earned 10 bowl bids and recorded a school-record 84 victories. In 2008 Leach received three national coach of the year awards: the Woody Hayes Award, the Howie Long/FieldTurf Coach of the Year, and George Munger Award, while quarterback Graham Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree finished fourth and fifth, respectively in the Heisman Trophy voting after the Red Raiders set a program record with 11 regular-season wins.
This will be the fifth time WSU and Pepperdine have played each other, and the first since 1986 with the all-time series tied, 2-2. The Cougars (7-4) enter Thursday's contest on a five-game winning streak and have won all six previous games in the annual KeyArena series.
Pepperdine (6-4) is led by first-year head coach Marty Wilson and senior forward Taylor Darby, who leads the Waves in scoring (12.0 PPG), is second on the team in rebounding (6.7 RPG), and has played in each of the team's 96 games the past three years.
Tickets for the Cougar Hardwood Classic are available through Ticketmaster or at the KeyArena box office and WSU students can pick up a complimentary ticket on the night of the game by presenting their student ID at the student pick up area outside the arena's east entrance.