Mike Leach once tracked a raccoon through the snow

Jay Busbee

Washington State head coach Mike Leach is just the gift that keeps on giving. Ask him any question, and you’ll get some kind of sideways ramble that veers into absurdity before resolving into just plain strangeness … not unlike a Mike Leach offense, come to think of it.

Anyway, Leach held court this week on a variety of topics, and his animal tracking skills came up. Of course they did.

“Tracked a raccoon one time in the snow,” he said. “I was in the neighborhood and I was just curious where this raccoon lived. There’s some fresh raccoon tracks. He’d been digging at somebody’s garbage. And so I followed the tracks, and I don’t even know if these people know it, but he lives right in the back of their house … I was curious where this sucker lived, so I walked about a half a mile out of my way to sort that out.”

After his raccoon tale, Leach ran down the menagerie that he’s has spotted:

• Raccoon: tracked through snow
• Owl: huge
• Hawks
• Foxes
• Coyotes: Saw one in neighbor’s front yard
• Quail: They’ll scare the hell out of you
• Deer: A herd
• Pheasants: Not a lot
• Rabbits: A lot

Naturally, Leach and raccoons have a long history. As a kid, he kept a raccoon named “Bilbo Baggins” as a pet, and last year, before the Holiday Bowl, he revealed that he wouldn’t mind having a pet raccoon 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,” he 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.”

So heads up there, local Pullman, Wash.-area raccoon. If you ever get tired of your current home, there’s one waiting for you at Mike Leach’s place.

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

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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