WSU coach Mike Leach named head coach at Mississippi State

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State football head coach Mike Leach has been hired as the next coach at Mississippi State.

The university confirmed his departure in a tweet Thursday afternoon, a couple of hours after news spread across the internet.

"We would like to thank Coach Leach for his eight years of service to the Cougars," WSU Football said on Twitter. "Mike has transformed Washington State Football into a national brand and we will be forever grateful."

Leach, a popular but sometimes controversial coach, had recently extended his $4 million a year contract at WSU through 2024, though it's not uncommon for coaches to leave before their contract expires.

College football insider Brett McMurphy referred to Leach as "one of nation’s most innovative offensive minds," but Leach is also widely known for ripping his players publicly after big losses and having an unpredictable tongue.

He made headlines more recently for comments he made to a Spokane sports columnist after losing the Apple Cup - again.

Mississippi State fired head coach Joe Moorhead after two seasons with the Bulldogs.