Reports: WSU’s Mike Leach, Tennessee closing in on deal to make him next Vols head coach

Leach had long been one of the names speculated for the Tennessee opening, but he said after the Apple Cup he expected to be back at Washington State.

After pulling out of a preliminary deal with Greg Schiano, and then having Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm and N.C. State’s Dave Doeren decline the job, it seems as though Tennessee might finally have found a head football coach.

Multiple reports surfaced Thursday night with the news that Washington State’s Mike Leach interviewed for the Tennessee job over lunch with Vols’ athletic director John Currie in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Leach was reportedly in Southern California on a recruiting trip Thursday. He met with Currie at an L.A. area restaurant, and Bruce Feldman, who’s close to Leach and co-wrote the coach’s biography “Swing Your Sword” tweeted that Currie’s meeting with Leach “went very well.”

Leach’s meeting with Currie was first reported by A to Z Sports Nashville, citing an anonymous source. Then, also citing anonymous sources, Dallas Forth-Worth reporter Newy Scruggs tweeted that Leach was “working on a deal to become the next head coach at Tennessee” adding that a deal could be announced as early as Friday.

Finally, Dan Harralson, who covers the Vols for SEC blog Saturday Down South, tweeted that Leach told him Thursday night, “I’m on my way.”

Leach’s named surfaced as a candidate for the Tennessee job two days after Currie fired Butch Jones, under whom the Vols went 34-27 in four seasons.

But as recently as the Apple Cup last Saturday, Leach asserted that he saw himself staying in Pullman.

“Yeah I do,” Leach said in the post-Apple Cup news conference after he was asked if he saw himself in Pullman next year. “I’m strictly focused on the Washington State Cougars. … I can’t speak to rumors I don’t know anything about. I’m focused on Washington State, excited about that. We’re going to a great bowl, and I for one couldn’t be happier.

Leach has a five-year rolling contract with WSU that…

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