Oakland University was founded in 1957 as a satellite school to Michigan State University. The university was originally named Michigan State University – Oakland. The school was renamed Oakland University in 1963 and is a public institution. In 1970, the university was granted autonomy from Michigan State and became independent. Oakland has an approximate enrollment of 19,740 students, has 139 baccalaureate degree programs and 125 graduate degree and certificate programs. Oakland's motto is "Seek virtue and knowledge." Oakland athletics participate at the Division I level. Previously known as the Pioneers, the teams now are known as the Golden Grizzlies. Oakland was part of the Summit League from 1998 to 2013. In September 2013 it was announced that Oakland was moving to the Horizon League.
Mike Leach became Texas Tech University’s (TTU) 14th head football coach in 2000 replacing “Spike” Dikes. When Leach arrived at TTU, the program was on probation and the graduation rate was below average. During his time at TTU, Leach had a winning record of 84-43, making an appearance at a bowl game each year. In 2008, he won a slew of awards including the George Munger Award, the Woody Hayes Trophy, Big 12 Coach of the Year, and the FieldTurf/Howie Long Coach of the year. Additionally, the Red Raiders were the Big 12 South Division Champions in 2008. When Leach left, he was the all-time winningest coach in postseason play at TTU. Leach led TTU to ten straight bowl games and the highest graduation rate for football players from a public institution in the country. Leach served until December 28, 2009 when he was suspended indefinitely and then fired two days later. Ruffin McNeill, TTU’s defensive coordinator, was named as the interim head coach and led the team during the Alamo Bowl. Tommy Tuberville is currently the coach at TTU. Leach became the head football coach of Washington State University on November 30, 2011, and commenced his career at Washington State starting with the 2012 season. He has a five-year rollover contract which makes him the 4th highest paid coach in the PAC 12.