Mike Leach, Mississippi State Head Football Coach, Has Died

The always-entertaining Bulldogs coach is dead at 61.

MSU Coach Mike Leach

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Mike Leach, the Mississippi State University football coach known for his innovation, skill, and dry sense of humor, has died, the school confirmed this morning.

The 61-year-old died "following complications from a heart condition" after suffering a cardiac event at his home in Starkville Sunday. Leach’s family was by his side when he was pronounced dead at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson last night.

"Mike was a giving and attentive husband, father, and grandfather," the Leach 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 two-time national coach of the year, three-time conference coach of the year, and mastermind behind the “Air Raid” offense scheme was in his third season as head coach for MSU. With a 36-game record of 19-17, Leach led the Bulldogs to a bowl game in each of his three seasons.

Despite his various career successes, Leach is best known for his hilarious and rambling off-the cuff remarks. During his time at MSU, he went viral for his opinions on everything from Halloween candy and cargo shorts, to coffee.

"We are heartbroken and devastated by the passing of Mike Leach. College football lost one of its most beloved figures today, but his legacy will last forever," MSU Interim Athletics Director Bracky Brett said in a statement. "Mike's energetic personality, influential presence and extraordinary leadership touched millions of athletes, students, coaches, fans, family and friends for decades. 

 "Mike was an innovator, pioneer and visionary. He was a college football icon, a coaching legend but an even better person," Brett continued. "We are all better for having known Mike Leach. The thoughts and prayers of Mississippi State University and the entire Bulldog family are with his wife Sharon, his children and the entire Leach family." 

Leach is survived by his wife Sharon and their four children, as well as three grandchildren.

Our hearts are with his family, friends, players, and all who were touched by him during the course of his unforgettable career. 

Rest in peace, Coach.

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