PULLMAN, Wash. — Before Mike Leach left Washington State to become the head coach at Mississippi State on Thursday, WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun said he thought Leach was staying just a couple of days ago.

"My assumption is something changed in the last 24 hours," Chun said in a press conference on Thursday. "He called me this morning saying he took the Mississippi State job and it was a bittersweet phone call."

Chun said the school has been prepared for the possibility that Leach would take another job.

"I lived with the motto that it was only a matter of time," he said.

Now the national search for a new head coach begins. Chun said there is no preference on if the coach has to be offensive-minded like Leach.

There has not been an interim head coach put in place yet as the team waits to see who from the current coaching staff joins Leach with Mississippi State.

Chun said there is no timeline for hiring a new head coach.

"We'll work fast, but however long it takes to get the right coach at WSU is how long it will take," Chun said. 

Some names that have been mentioned are Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, who was defensive backs coach at WSU from 2015-2017, and Jim McElwain. McElwain is currently the head coach at Central Michigan.

RELATED: 'The deal is done': Mike Leach hired as Mississippi State's head coach

RELATED: Washington State football's five most season-defining moments