Who's next at Washington State after Mike Leach's departure?

Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch could be a top candidate to replace Mike Leach at Washington State. Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

The Pirate has left the Palouse.

Mike Leach is departing Washington State after eight mostly successful seasons leading the Cougars. Leach is taking his prolific passing offense and unique personality to Mississippi State, his third Power 5 coaching stop. He went 55-47 at WSU, including a historic 11-win season and AP Top 10 finish in 2018, a 37-win stretch between 2015 and 2018 and six bowl appearances, including five straight to finish his tenure.

The Leach era undoubtedly will go down as one of the best in WSU history. Athletic director Pat Chun now must figure out who replaces Leach at one of the most remote and challenging Power 5 jobs. The timing of Leach's departure is less than ideal.

Other than Leach and Mike Price, Washington State's coaches have struggled to gain traction. Offense seems to be the path to success in Pullman, and could shape Chun's search, but there's also a very strong choice on the defensive side. The candidate pool features several men with head-coaching experience, as well as some top coordinators.

Here's a look at who could succeed Leach at Wazzu.