Mississippi State soccer coach Mike Leach dies at 61


Mike Leach, the top soccer coach at Mississippi State University, has died, the varsity introduced in a statement. He was 61.

Leach died on Monday, Dec. 12, following his hospitalization over the weekend for well being issues related to a coronary heart situation, in accordance with the college. In remarks shared with Mississippi State, Leach’s household paid tribute to him as a husband, father and grandfather, in addition to his profession and rise to prominence inside the faculty sports activities enviornment.

“Mike was a giving and attentive husband, father and grandfather,” the household mentioned, noting that Leech turned an organ donor and described the donation 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,” the household continued. “Thank you for sharing in the joy of our beloved husband and father’s life.”  

Head coach Mike Leach seems to be on from the sidelines throughout the first quarter of the of the Washington State Cougars’ recreation towards the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium on November 8, 2014 in Corvallis, Oregon.

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Leach was admitted on Sunday to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, on account of an incident at his house in Starkville that Mississippi State initially described as a “personal health issue.

By Monday, the college reported that Leach’s situation remained vital, though it didn’t present particulars concerning the particular medical considerations previous his hospitalization till the most recent announcement confirming his loss of life.

“Mike’s family is with him and appreciates the overwhelming expressions of love and support for the coach, but also requests that their family’s privacy be respected at this time,” the college mentioned on Monday afternoon. “That is the extent of information that MSU has available regarding Coach Leach’s condition, and the university will make no other comment at this time.”

News of Leach’s hospitalization prompted a wave of supportive messages on social media from the coach’s colleagues, together with head soccer coaches at University of Houston, University of Alabama, Louisiana State University and University of Southern California.

Leach led the Mississippi State Bulldogs by means of almost three full seasons, having joined the staff within the fall of 2020. After his hospitalization over the weekend, the college introduced that its defensive coordinator, Zach Arnett, would change Leach as head coach in an interim position till his return. It will not be clear whether or not Arnett will now fulfill the place for a long run.

Mississippi St Mississippi Football
Mississippi State coach Mike Leach confers with quarterback Will Rogers throughout the first half of the staff’s NCAA faculty soccer recreation towards Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022.

Rogelio V. Solis / AP

In its Tuesday announcement, Mississippi State referred to as Leech an icon and “one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football,” highlighting his observe file of mentorship that helped steer various different coaches by means of the early levels of their very own in the end profitable careers.

“Coach Mike Leach cast a tremendous shadow not just over Mississippi State University, but over the entire college football landscape,” mentioned Mark Keenum, the president of Mississippi State. “His innovative ‘Air Raid’ offense changed the game. Mike’s keen intellect and unvarnished candor made him one of the nation’s true coaching legends. His passing brings great sadness to our university, to the Southeastern Conference, and to all who loved college football.”

Born on March 9, 1961, in Susanville, California, Leach was raised in Cody, Wyoming, because the oldest of six siblings. After graduating from Brigham Young University, the place he performed on the rugby staff, in 1983, Leach went on to earn a grasp’s diploma on the U.S. Sports Academy and, later, a legislation diploma at Pepperdine University.

Prior to becoming a member of the employees at Mississippi State, Leach served as head soccer coach at Texas Tech and Washington State University. Outside of teaching, he labored for a time as an analyst at CBS College Sports Network and as a co-host of SiriusXM’s radio present “College Football Playbook.” He launched an autobiography about his life and athletics profession, titled, “Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and in Life,” in 2011. His second ebook, “Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior,” was printed in 2014.

Leach is survived by his spouse, Sharon, and their 4 kids, Janeen, Kimberly, Cody and Kiersten.


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