LEACH GOES UNCONVENTIONAL IN D-COORDINATOR

BRESKE AT NORTH DAKOTA STATE

MIKE LEACH, ever the one to do things differently, is going to be true to form in his choice of a defensive coordinator. A Montana football source confirmed to CF.C an earlier report this morning that Mike Breske, in Pullman this weekend for final interviews, is indeed the new man.

The pick ends weeks of speculation that had such prominent names as Bobby Jack Wright, Brian Stewart and Tommy Spangler bandied about. Breske's hiring was first reported by footballscoop.com.

Breske truly is a pick from left field. Not because he doesn't have the experience -- he has loads of it -- but because he doesn't appear to have any direct connection to Leach and because the closest his three-decades-long career ever got him to a major conference was six seasons at Wyoming.

Breske has spent the past two seasons at Montana under former WSU assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Robin Pflugrad, and immediately prior to that he was at North Dakota Stata. Montana as co-champions of the Big Sky Conference in the just-concluded season and ranked No. 26 nationally in total defense this past season.

The vast majority of Breske's coaching career has been with Joe Glenn, who is now at South Dakota and closing in on 200 career wins. Breske's path with Glenn included six seasons as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Wyoming and 13 years as defensive coordinator at Northern Colorado. The '04 Wyoming team appeared in the school's first bowl game in 11 seasons, defeating UCLA, while the '06 club ranked ninth in the nation in total defense. The 2007 team was 22nd in total defense.

In earlier coaching stops with Glenn at Northern Colorado and Montana, Breske won three national championships.

Based on a smattering of old newspaper articles, the sense is that Breske is intense and sometimes bone-rattling loud if not pleased with what's happening.

He doesn't appear to have any obvious connections to Leach. About as close as the resumes get is that both spent time in Iowa early in their careers -- Breske as a graduate assistant at Northern Iowa in the early 80s and Leach as offensive coordinator at Iowa Wesleyen from 1989-91.

The news of Breske's appointment isn't a surprise. He was known to be en route to Pullman this weekend, and Leach had told players that he would have the complete staff on hand today for a team meeting.

The defensive coordinator's job appears to be the ninth and final staff slot Leach needs to fill -- maybe. There has been speculation that would-be linebackers coach Mike Smith, a former Texas Tech player now interning with the New York Jets, is planning to stay with the Jets rather than rejoin Leach as previously believed. If that's the case, there could be another coaching slot to fill. CF.C will have more as we learn it.

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