Covering Leach has always been interesting

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Somewhere, the owners of the seven Starbucks locations in Lubbock are probably breathing a huge collective sigh of relief.

The departure of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, arguably their best customer in the city, would have had drastic effects on their business. And his new $12.7 million, five-year contract likely will leave him with a little spare change to toss around to his favorite baristas in the Hub City.

The coffee shop owners weren't alone. Many reporters similarly were happy to hear that Leach was returning to the Big 12, considering the way he has regularly filled notebooks with pithy quotes and provided some interesting sound bites over the years.

I know. I was there for most of them.

Among his greatest hits and bits have included:

  • His introductory press conference in 1999 when he talked about coaching the Finnish semi-pro team and how much he enjoyed the offense of the old Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football.

  • His near postgame altercation with then-SMU coach Phil Bennett, who charged him after a 2004 game because he thought Leach had ordered the Red Raiders to score a late touchdown when they were comfortably ahead.

  • The time at the Big 12 media days in 2006 when he told several of us about the time he went into a coffee shop and pretended he was Vince Gill. The only problem was that the waitress thought his voice was too low for him to be the country singing star.

  • The time he called out his defense as a bunch of posers who were waiting for their noses to be dabbed by their mommies -- along with a few choice expletives -- after his team's 49-45 loss to Oklahoma State in 2007.

  • His blasting of Big 12 officials for allegedly favoring teams from their home towns.

He's told me about his favorite Sherlock Holmes story, his favorite "Boston Legal" episode and how to best travel through Europe with children.

To say that Leach is unconventional in the coaching world would be a massive understatement. He's always made covering Texas Tech fun because you never knew what to expect.

The new contract means he'll be around for a few more years. There's no telling what Leach will come up with during that time.

And if anything, I bet he doesn't change.