Mike Leach, longtime college football coach, dead at 61. Leach coached Texas Tech, Washington State and Mississippi State.
Mike Leach, the eccentric longtime college football coach who was guiding the Mississippi State Bulldogs, has died. He was 61. The school announced his death on Tuesday.
“Mike was a giving and attentive husband, father and grandfather,” Leach’s family said in a statement. “He was able to participate in organ donation at UMMC as a final act of charity.
We are supported and uplifted by the outpouring of love and prayers from family, friends, Mississippi State University, the hospital staff, and football fans around the world. Thank you for sharing in the joy of our beloved husband and father’s life.”
The school said Leach died following complications from a heart condition.
“Coach Mike Leach cast a tremendous shadow not just over Mississippi State University, but over the entire college football landscape,” school president Mark E. Keenum said in a statement. “His innovative ‘Air Raid’ offense changed the game. Mike’s keen intellect and unvarnished candor made him one of the nation’s true coaching legends.
His passing brings great sadness to our university, to the Southeastern Conference, and to all who loved college football. I will miss Mike’s profound curiosity, his honesty, and his wide-open approach to pursuing excellence in all things.”
Keenum added, “Mike’s death also underscores the fragility and uncertainty of our lives. Three weeks ago, Mike and I were together in the locker room celebrating a hard-fought victory in Oxford. Mike Leach truly embraced life and lived in such a manner as to leave no regrets. That’s a worthy legacy. May God bless the Leach family during these days and hours. The prayers of the Bulldog family go with them.”