In 1999, Texas Tech hired a consultant, Barry Terranova, to help in its search for a coach. The Red Raiders lacked the resources of Big 12 brethren Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma and the campus is a four-hour drive to the nearest big city.
Terranova knew there was a way to overcome disadvantages in resources and recruiting. The key was a spread offense.
"It's something you'll continue to see proliferate because people have found it incredibly difficult to stop," Terranova said. "With some teams that otherwise should have problems being competitive, it made them competitive."
He sold Texas Tech officials on the idea and identified Mike Leach, an Oklahoma assistant, and Rich Rodriguez, then the offensive coordinator at Clemson, as top candidates. Leach got the job.
Texas Tech has since gone to eight bowl games in a row and the popularity of the spread offense — or variations of it — have enabled once struggling programs like Texas Tech to thrive.
Thanks to Mike!