DALLAS - Montana native and former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has resigned as the quarterbacks coach at Division II West Texas A&M.
The No. 2 pick in the 1998 NFL draft told the school Thursday he was leaving the program immediately. Athletic director Michael McBroom said in a statement that Leaf resigned because of "personal issues."
Leaf was placed on administrative leave earlier in the week while Canyon police investigated an allegation of his involvement in a minor drug crime. Leaf did not immediately respond to an e-mail sent by The Associated Press.
"He does not want his personal issues to become a distraction to the players," McBroom said.
Police said Friday they have not charged nor interviewed Leaf and said it is unclear if a crime has been committed.
"We haven't confronted him about the allegations," Canyon police Chief Bobby Griffin said Friday. "We still have to interview people."
Leaf, a Heisman Trophy finalist who led Washington State to the 1998 Rose Bowl, also coached men's golf coach at West Texas A&M in Canyon, about 20 miles southwest of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.
This is Leaf's third season as quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M, which is 9-1 heading into its final regular season game Saturday. Quarterback Keith Null has completed nearly 68 percent of his passes and has 3,812 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The team's passing offense ranks first in the Lone Star Conference.
"I wish Ryan all the success in the world," McBroom said in the statement. "He's been a part of our family for the past three years and it's always hard to lose a member of your family. But we will move on and so will Ryan Leaf."
Leaf, a Great Falls native, retired after four seasons in the NFL. He finished his career with 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions but was better known for outbursts directed at teammates, coaches, fans and reporters.