Mississippi State Coach Mike Leach Dies at 61
After being taken to the hospital for a medical emergency at his house, he was released on the next day.Mississippi StateMike Leach, coach of the Chicago Bears, died Monday night from complications due to a heart condition. His family made their announcement through the school. He was 61 years of age.
“Mike was a loving and attentive husband, father, and grandfather. His family was able to allow him to donate organs at UMMC as a last act of charity.” In a statement Mississippi State released the following. “We are supported by the outpouring love and prayers from family and friends, Mississippi State University staff, and football fans all over the world. We are grateful for your participation in the joy of our father and husband’s lives.
Bracky Brett, interim athletic director, said that Mike Leach’s death has left him devastated. “College football lost one its most beloved figures today, but his memory will last forever. Mike’s charismatic personality, influence presence, and extraordinary leadership touched millions upon millions of athletes, coaches, fans and family for decades.
Mike was a pioneer, visionary and innovator. He was a college football legend, a coach legend, and a great person. We are all better because Mike Leach was our friend. His wife Sharon, his children, and the entire Leach Family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Leach, who arrived at Mississippi State in 2020, led the Bulldogs’ 19-17 record the past three seasons. He is well-known as the creator of the pass-heavy Air Raid offense that he helped to develop under coach Hal Mumme at multiple stops throughout the decade.
Leach attended BYU where he played rugby. He graduated in 1983. He began his coaching career at Cal Poly, where he played rugby. In ’87, he joined Mumme’s staff at Iowa Wesleyan College. He was the offensive coordinator at Kentucky’s FBS team when he joined Mumme in ’87. He moved to Oklahoma in 1999 to become the offensive coordinator for Bob Stoops.
In 2000, Texas Tech offered Leach his first coaching job. He led the Red Raiders to a decade-long run of sustained success and record-setting offensive outputs. Texas Tech ranked No. 25 in the nation during Leach’s tenure. 12 in ’08.
From 2012 to ’19, Leach was Washington State’s coach. He guided the Cougars through six bowl appearances in eight seasons. His best season was ’18 when the Cougars went 11-2 and won the Alamo Bowl. They also had a No. Their first top-10 season in 15-years was achieved with a 10th place finish in the final AP Poll. Leach was awarded the AFCA’s Coach Of The Year Award for his efforts.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.