The University of Miami confirmed this morning that a note scratched out on a newspaper in which Donald Trump recently scolded UM President Donna Shalala for not hiring Mike Leach as the school’s football coach in 2007 is authentic.
(Credit: Bruce Feldman)
The note from Trump reads:
You made a big mistake when you did not take my advice and hire Mike Leach of Texas Tech … and you can now get him for the right price
Before Miami hired now-fired Randy Shannon in 2007, Trump sent a letter of recommendation on Leach’s behalf to Shalala.
The PALM BEACH POST reported on it at the time:
“In a letter sent this week to UM President Donna Shalala, Trump refers to Texas Tech’s upset victory of No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday and reminds Shalala that he strongly recommended that (Mike) Leach be given the Hurricanes’ job.”
Trump wrote in the letter, “You are my friend, but you should have listened to me. If you did, your team would be fighting for the National Championship.”
Shalala’s response: “I got the letter and I laughed.”
Leach was eventually granted an interview for the job at that time but was passed over. Shalala, along with Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee instead went with Shannon. Current school AD Kirby Hocutt is heading up the search for a coach this time around, with input from Shalala.
The PALM BEACH POST reported today that Leach, who was fired by Texas Tech in 2009, is once again interested in the job.
“It’s a great job and I think it would be a great fit,” Leach said. “We’d have an exciting brand of football. We’ll fill the seats and we’ll win games and we’ll win ACC championships.”
In the past 24 hours, it has been widely reported that Jon Gruden has met with Hocutt about taking the job.
A talent agency source with knowledge of the Miami search and Gruden’s situation told me today that Gruden will likely not take the Miami job, though his next job will be as a college - not NFL - coach. Read more…