HomeSportsMike Leach Dies: College Football Fans Remember the Iconic Mississippi State Coach

Mike Leach Dies: College Football Fans Remember the Iconic Mississippi State Coach

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Ezra Shaw / Staff

Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach has passed away following a sudden heart attack. The 61-year-old reportedly suffered a medical issue on Sunday afternoon. According to the university, he passed away on Monday night after being in critical condition. 

Now that the news has broke, college football fans from all over the country are grieving the loss of the innovative coach. On Twitter, people offered their condolences to the coach, who held a 158-107 record in 21 seasons. 

“Our deepest condolences to all who are grieving Coach Leach’s passing,” wrote the official Twitter account for UCLA football. 

In addition, Barstool’s Brandon Walker also wrote a heartfelt message about Mike Leach’s legacy. “Mike Leach was 1-of-1. He was one of the best characters in sports and was an innovator that helped change football.” He added: “In a world where coaches are corporate and mostly the same, he stood out because he was genuinely himself. This is a terrible day for college football.” 

“Mike Leach is one of the few coaches who is as good on the field as off. His rants are all-time. His one five years ago on getting married might never be topped,” penned fellow Twitter user Darren Rovell. 

The beloved coach, who has been the driving force behind the football program at Mississippi State since 2020. He was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson on Sunday for medical treatment.

College football world mourns Mike Leach, the incomparable, innovative coach

Following his passing, his family released a statement Tuesday morning. “Mike was a giving and attentive husband, father and grandfather. 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.”

It’s safe to say Leach leaves behind a legacy few will rival. During his long-winded career, he was well-known and regarded in the college football world as the architect of the cutting-edge “Air Raid” offense. Leach was also a two-time national coach of the year and three-time Power Five conference coach of the year. In addition, he was the owner of a pair of Power Five division titles. He also guided his teams to 19 bowl games during his 21-year career as a coach.

Leach will also be remembered for his character and integrity off the field. Leach became known for his lack of a filter— something many admired as he stayed true to himself no matter what. He also was well-known for his hilarious rants. His famed “Swing Your Sword” will also be remembered as an inspiring mantra to ready his team to go into “battle.”

Undoubtedly, Leach will go down in history for his ingenious coaching and his undeniable impact on the sport in the last 40 years.