Take note that this entire post is written in jest and has no serious undertones in it. Tom Leach has been an avid supporter of the blog for many years and will always be loved by the writers at the KSR compound. With that being said:
IT’S NOW OR NEVER FOR TOM LEACH!!!!
At Kentucky, we measure success with one thing and one thing only: Final Fours. And as we enter Leach’s 10th season behind the broadcast booth, we have still yet to reach a Final Four under his reign. Compare that with his two previous broadcast men:
Cawood Ledford: 854-273 (75.8% win percentage), 2 National Championships, 5 Final Fours
Ralph Hacker: 264-56 (82.5% win percentage), 2 National Championships, 4 Final Fours
Tom Leach: 228-80 (74.0% win percentage), 0 National Championships, 0 Final Fours
Now, at some schools (cough cough Bourbon County High School), that kind of resume keeps you at the school for life. But this is not just any school, this is Kentucky. And Leach’s style of broadcast and recruitment of color analysts just have not been up to par. Personally, and I think I speak for alot of people, I would like to see a more up tempo broadcast from Tom, much like the broadcast team at Florida has. His deliberate style has won us many games for sure, but when it comes crunch time in the big games, it just hasn’t cut it.
Sure, Dwyane Wade had a triple-double against UK in 2003, but people forget that Leach made very few adjustments at halftime of that game. I mean, cmon Tom, would it kill you to throw in a BOOYAH or WHAMMIE during the game. Other people in the business around the country call Tom one of the best, and say that UK fans are too tough on him. Well, this job is supposed to be tough, and I for one, have not seen the toughness out of Tom that is required. Far too many games in the past 3-4 years, Tom has been flat out whupped by his opposing broadcast team.
Is Tom a good guy? Sure. Does Tom run a clean broadcast? Sure. But I for one wouldn’t mind Tom bending the rules a bit and stealing a little bit of info from the opponents practice the previous day. You can’t have guys like Oscar Combs do that. You gotta recruit guys with a little more guts to walk the fine line. You gotta get guys on the broadcast staff who know the ends and outs of the modern business.
So, while I will stand by Tom Leach as long as he is in the UK broadcast booth, the feet need to be placed to the fire. We ran Cawood out of town after 8 straight years of no Final Fours. Just a warning Tom: Don’t make it 10 this year.
I have no idea when Tom Leach’s birthday is, but whenever it is, let’s just assume this was his birthday roast.