Mike Leach Obituary: Mississippi State Football Coach Passed Away At 61 After Hospitalization
With great sadness, we report the death of Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach. Mike Leach was a beloved and respected college football coach who served as the head coach for Mississippi State. As head coach, he led the team to numerous accomplishments, including bowl appearances. He also played a crucial role in recruiting some of Mississippi State’s most promising young players.
What Was The Cause Of Th Death Of Mike Leach?
The school reported that Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach passed away on Monday night due to complications from a cardiac issue. Leach, who was in his third season as Mississippi State’s head coach, became ill at his home in Starkville, Mississippi, on Sunday.
Before being airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, some 120 miles (200 kilometers) away, he was treated at a local hospital. He died Monday night. In a statement released by the university on Tuesday, Leach’s family described his organ donation at the University of Mississippi Medical Center as “a final act of charity.”
Leach’s family stated,
“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.”
In his third season as Mississippi State’s head coach, Leach told ESPN, following the regular season’s conclusion, that he had battled pneumonia but was now feeling better. On Saturday, he participated in practice before experiencing his health issue on Sunday. The news of Leach’s terrible illness has traveled around college football over the past several days, leaving those who knew him astonished and praying for his recovery.
MSU Bulldog family, college football community mourns the death of Coach Mike Leachhttps://t.co/LzWyLyX3xM
— Mississippi State Football (@HailStateFB) December 13, 2022
Remembering Mike Leach’s Inspiring Leadership
Responses to his passing have poured in from all corners of the college football community, with many highlighting his enthusiasm for both teaching and coaching.
Kliff Kingsbury, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, had a spectacular college football career at Texas Tech, including three seasons under the direction of Mike Leach.
Kingsbury said in a statement, “be where I am today if not for Mike Leach and everything he taught me about the game.”
We mourn the loss of Coach Mike Leach. Our thoughts are with his family and the Mississippi State football community.@KliffKingsbury shared his thoughts on the passing of his college coach. pic.twitter.com/Qb87WvqqFX
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 13, 2022
Coach of Mississippi State’s in-state rival Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin, told ESPN: “You can have great rivalries and passion and still love each other. I loved (Coach Leach).”
Lane Kiffin speaks on the loss of Mike Leach and what it means for football fans in Mississippi.
"You can have great rivalries and passion and still love each other. I loved [Coach Leach]." pic.twitter.com/pKacS237OZ
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 13, 2022
Paul Finebaum, a radio and television analyst for college football, referred to Leach as “the smartest coach I’ve ever been around.”
"[Mike Leach was] the smartest coach I've ever been around. … He's one of the truly irreplaceable figures in the history of the game. Records are one thing … but the legacy that one leaves behind is what I heard from his many friends and coaching colleagues."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) December 13, 2022
Lincoln Riley, head coach of the Trojans football team at the University of Southern California, remarked, “Coach- You will certainly be missed, but your impact on so many will live on. Thankful for every moment. You changed my life and so many others.”
You will certainly be missed, but your impact on so many will live on-
Thankful for every moment. You changed my life and so many others.
All of our prayers are with Sharon & the Leach family-
Rest In Peace my friend🙏 pic.twitter.com/C43e2MZvBB
— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) December 13, 2022
Heupel continued by praising Leach’s “offensive philosophy and vision,” stating that they “were ahead of their time” and “continue to influence the game today.”
— Josh Heupel (@coachjoshheupel) December 13, 2022
Even star Matthew McConaughey honored his friend on social media.
My friend Mike Leach moved on yesterday. One of the most curious, inventive, independent minded wild men to ever walk the earth. He was a gem like no other. Put a prayer up there for his his wife Sharon and their kids. pic.twitter.com/YnecDHFapr
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) December 13, 2022