Did Leach already win his first 'recruit'?

MIKE LEACH may already have won his first "recruiting" battle. The Arizona Daily Star reports that David Emerick, Arizona's recruiting coordinator under Mike Stoops for the last year two years and someone expected to be retained by new Cat coach Rich Rodriquez, is now believed headed to Washington State. It's no surprise given his long history with Leach.

Emerick, 32, spent six seasons with Leach at Texas Tech, the last two as Leach's "chief of staff," a title not normally found on football coaching lists but believed to be somewhat akin to off-field assistant head coach.

Before becoming chief of staff, he was Leach's director of player personnel, a title more closely associated with professional football than college but one that put him in charge of the recruiting process and youth football camps.

He also played a major role at Tech in academic oversight, compliance, media relations and marketing.

Leach and Emerick trace back to Leach's time as offensive coodinator at Kentucky. Emerick, a Kentucky grad, was the recruiting and football operations intern there as an undergraduate from 1997-2001 seasons.

At Arizona, Emerick oversaw recruiting and also was asistant director of football operations.

Emerick's name is the first to be so directly linked to the building of Leach's staff at Washington State. His areas of expertise would seem likely to dim the hopes of WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen and operations director Shawn Deeds being retained by Leach.

Leach will make his first public appearance as WSU's head coach this Tuesday. He'll be introduced in Pullman at a noon press conference in the CUB senior ballroom, and then head to Seattle for a 6:30 p.m. gathering with reporters at the Fairmont Hotel. Given the pressing nature of building his staff and the limited time before the holiday quiet period in recruiting, WSU is planning to schedule opportunities for him to meet and greet alums at later dates.

Emerick is a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School in his hometown of Waukesha, Wis., and lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He received his master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in sport management in May of 2007 from Texas Tech.

NOTABLE:
Emerick isn't the only member of Stoops' staff at Arizona with serious ties to Leach. Robert Anae spent five seasons, from 2000-04, as offensive line coach for Leach at Texas Tech before moving on to become offensive coordinator at BYU for six seasons; Seth Littrell, Stoops' OC, was Leach's running backs coach from 2005-08; and Arizona receivers coach Dave Nichol was at Texas Tech from 2000-05 as a student coach and graduate assistant. Anae joined Stoops' staff at Arizona this season, serving as offensive line coach run-game coordinator.

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