On Tuesday (December 13th), Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to his Twitter account to pay tribute to former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who passed away the day before after suffering from a massive heart attack.
“Prayers to the Leach family!” Mahomes declared in the tweet. “True legend of the game!”
Although he didn’t coach Mahomes, Leach was a legend at Texas Tech. From 2000 to 2009, Leach was head coach for the University before he moved to Washington State, where he coached from 2012 to 2019. After leaving Washington State, Leach became head coach for Mississippi State.
Along with Mahomes, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who played quarterback for Leach at Texas Tech, released a statement. “There is no way I would be where I am today if not for Mike Leach and everything he taught me about the game. Truly one of the most innovative offensive minds in football.”
Kingsbury further praised Leach as being a mentor, friend, and one of the most special people he’s ever met. “My heart goes out to [Leach’s wife] Sharon, the Leach family, and everyone who had the privilege of knowing and loving him. Our sport was better because of Mike Leach and is far less interesting without him.”
Tennessee coach Josh Heupel also stated he was heartbroken over the loss of Leach. Heupel was signed to the University of Oklahoma’s football program during Leach’s offseason in 1999. “I am heartbroken on the passing of Coach Leach. In 1999, he gave a kid out of Snow College in Utah a shot at major college football. He saw something in me that no one else did. Like so many across our sport, I am grateful for Coach Leach’s impact on my life both personally and professionally. His offensive philosophy and vision were ahead of his time, and they continue to shape the game today.”
Patrick Mahomes Joins Mississippi State in Mourning the Loss of Head Coach Mike Leach
Meanwhile, Mississippi State University posted a tribute on its social media accounts after the news broke about Mike Leach’s death.
“Today, we mourn the loss of Head Coach Mike Leach,” the message reads. It also features a picture of Leach with “In loving memory” posted on it. Leach notably suffered a heart attack over the weekend and was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He passed away on Monday (December 12th) at the age of 61.
The Leach family also released a statement about the head coach’s sudden passing. “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.”