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Washington State's Mike Leach on what he learned writing 'Geronimo'

Jul 23, 2014

LOS ANGELES – With the high-stress nature of their job, college football coaches unwind off of the field a number of ways. For some coaches, that might be fishing or golfing, but for Washington State head coach Mike Leach, it is writing a book about Apache warrior Geronimo.

Released in May, Leach’s book draws on his fascination and love for American Indian lore and examines Geronimo’s leadership approach, strategies and life story. Naturally, the book was one of the first things reporters wanted to ask Leach about Wednesday at Pac-12 Football Media Day.

[Related: WSU's Mike Leach stars in media day selfies]

When asked about the book, Leach first went into how writing it was beneficial to him as a football coach.

“It has kind of been beneficial as far as the football effort because you’re constantly thinking about what is greatness, how to create it, how to prepare for it and the mentality of it, which we went into some detail of that illustrated through Geronimo’s life,” he said.

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Diving further into his research, Leach explained that he believes his players could learn a lot from the historical figure as well.

“I hope my players see the world a little like Geronimo as far as conditioning and expecting to be successful, achieving greatness. Not being surprised when you have a high level of success and do things that other people didn’t think you could, because you trained for it,” Leach said.

[Related: Watch Connor Halliday, Darryl Monroeon Pac-12 Networks' Football Media Day Special]

Also in relation to his players, studying Geronimo led Leach to revelations about the way that he has learned from his team and staff.

“I learned a lot studying Geronimo, and I learned a lot from my players. You have a great, diverse background, 125 players from different backgrounds, all kinds of coaches. You have the opportunity to learn from a lot of people and historical figures the same way."

Finishing his discussion about Geronimo, Leach noted how he and the legendary warrior are similar.

“He was not a take-a-knee guy."