Oklahoma Sooners

Lincoln Riley tells amazing Mike Leach story

Mike Leach

As Lincoln Riley prepares for life as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, the youngest head coach in the FBS decided to share his story with The Players Tribune.

For those of us who follow the Oklahoma Sooners and the Big 12 extensively, there wasn’t much Riley explained about his background we didn’t know. But he did decide to share arguably the best Mike Leach story I’ve ever heard (and by God, that’s saying something).

My first or second year as an assistant at Tech, I was doing some work in Coach Leach’s office when his cell phone rang.
He picked it up and said, “Hey, how’s it going?” And then he listened for a second and asked, “Where ya calling from?”
He kept talking on the phone and I eventually sort of tuned out. Now, a short phone conversation for Coach Leach is an hour. So he was talking about this and that, and I was kind of hunkered down working on my own stuff. At some point, the call got dropped. They must have lost reception. Coach said, “Can you hear me? Are you there?”
Then he closed his old-school flip phone, swung it back open and redialed. He said, “Hey, sorry I lost you.” And then they resumed their conversation for another 30 minutes or so before Coach finally hung up.
After he was done, we started talking and I said, “Hey Coach, who was that on the phone?”
And he said, “Oh, they had the wrong number.”

I’m not even sure what to chalk this one up to. I don’t think I’ve ever said more than 5 words to someone who called with the wrong number.

My typical conversation:

“This is Pete”

“Hi is _____ there?”

“No, I think you have the wrong number.”

“OK, I’m sor- [hang up mid sentence.]”

I don’t even wait for whatever the excuse was. I’m on to the next thing in my life or resuming what I had been doing. Mike Leach is talking to these people! In fact, Mike Leach might be the first guy to ever get hung up on by someone who accidentally made the outgoing call to a wrong number. That’s amazing.

It might even be gravestone worthy. “Only man to get hung up on when receiving a call from the wrong number.”

This story kind of makes me want to go home and start re-reading “Swing Your Sword” again and start trolling Craig James on the Internet! Let’s go!

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