(He also has at his disposal a domed practice facility meant to shelter his players from the blazing heat and bitter cold of the High Plains.
He likes the deep night hours, when he is free of the constant demands of his job and can pursue his many intellectual interests, which include Apaches, sharks, whales, pirates, Australia, Daniel Boone, the tango, Wyatt Earp, Vikings, Doc Holliday, chimpanzees, Winston Churchill, grizzly bears, Napoleon Bonaparte, the philosophy of John Wooden, and the dynamics of the offshore surf breaks at San Onofre, California.
Tonight he is working on an article for the about the relationship between practicing law and coaching football.
He can do this because he is the only head coach at a major football university to have a law degree and because he is, well, the sort of person who would be inclined to do such a thing.
I am meeting with him in the sanctum sanctorum of Texas Tech football, a cramped conference room that is festooned with skull-and-crossbones flags, a painting of Leach in imitation of a Van Gogh self-portrait, a photograph of Sarah Palin, a sign that reads “You are either coaching it, or you are allowing it to happen,” and several drawing boards full of football hieroglyphics, in the middle of which appear Leach’s weight and cholesterol counts.
He has a large, elegantly appointed office next door that contains such curiosities as a copy of Geronimo’s death certificate and a motion-activated, six-foot-tall pirate skeleton that says, “” and scares the daylights out of the cleaning people.
But the 48-year-old Leach has no real use for such luxury.
He meets various grandees and visitors there when he has to; he sometimes uses the room to entertain recruits by doing card tricks and telling pirate stories.
He prefers the intimate clutter of his conference room, where he spends most of his time watching film and huddling with his coaches.
During his nine-year tenure as head coach at Texas Tech, Leach has never had a losing season, compiling a 76-39 record.
He has done that while playing in one of the nation’s toughest conferences and using players that few or no other elite college football programs wanted.
In five of those nine years, Texas Tech led the nation in offense, routinely hanging ungodly numbers of points on opposing defenses.