Watch Mike Leach vigorously cool his coffee, describe his love of raccoons (Video)

Dr. Saturday
With a win over Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl, Washington State can reach 10 wins in a season for the first time under Mike Leach. (AP Photo/Young Kwak, File)
With a win over Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl, Washington State can reach 10 wins in a season for the first time under Mike Leach. (AP Photo/Young Kwak, File)

Once his time at the podium came to an end on Wednesday, Mike Leach’s priorities immediately shifted.

Leach addressed reporters Wednesday ahead of Washington State’s Holiday Bowl matchup with Michigan State on Thursday. After Leach’s time was up, MSU’s Mark Dantonio stepped up to the microphone. As Dantonio answered questions, Leach helped himself to the cup of coffee he brought to the press conference.

It was very, very hot, so he did what any of us would do: blow on it. Leach was very committed to cooling his drink.



That coffee sat on the podium for about seven minutes while Leach answered questions, so the coffee must have been scorching.

During his availability, Leach was asked about a piece that appeared on The Players’ Tribune earlier in the day. In it, Leach offered “five thoughts that have nothing to do with football.” Among those thoughts was a tale about the raccoon Leach had as a pet as a child growing up in Wyoming. The raccoon was named Bilbo Baggins (from The Hobbit):

When I was a kid I had a pet raccoon. I really liked raccoons — still do. I know an inordinate amount about raccoons actually. People fuss about raccoons all the time, but I’ve never had a problem with them. At my place in Key West, raccoons will show up sometimes and I’m always happy when they do. I named my pet raccoon after one of my favorite book characters, Bilbo Baggins. We got Bilbo when I was pretty young. I grew up out in the country in Wyoming, and there was a guy near us who had a baby raccoon he wanted to get rid of, so my family took it in. I will say Bilbo did a fabulous job as a house pet. Got along great with the dog, got along great with the cats and he usually got along with the people too. The one thing about Bilbo is that he loved pots and pans. Pots and pans were his favorite thing. Raccoons are drawn to shiny objects.

Leach said Wednesday he’d like to have a raccoon once again.

“I would like to have a pet raccoon again. It’s tough if you travel. They’re quite a bit more maintenance free than you would think,” Leach said. “They do like shiny objects. Yeah, I kinda would like to have a pet raccoon again, but, you know, bouncing around the country it makes it tough. Then, you know, there’s the time when they, you know, they hit kinda raccoon teenage years and it’s time for them to head off into the sunset. It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun, and in some ways every bit as maintenance free as a dog or a cat, you know?”


I knew nothing of raccoons as pets before. But now, thanks to Leach, I do. Thank you, coach.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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