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Mike Leach, Mississippi State football coach, dies at age 61

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Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 10:29:43-05

Mike Leach, head football coach at Mississippi State University, died Monday night following complications from a heart condition, the university announced.

Leach was one of the most successful coaches in college football history. He's credited with revolutionizing the game with the "Air Raid" offense.

"Coach Mike Leach cast a tremendous shadow not just over Mississippi State University, but over the entire college football landscape," said Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum. "His innovative 'Air Raid' offense changed the game."

Leach's coaching career began in 1987. His big head coaching break came in 2000 when he was chosen to lead Texas Tech. He is the winningest coach in the school's history.

Leach took over as head coach of Mississippi State after spending nearly a decade at Washington State.

He spent nearly a decade as the head coach on Texas Tech in the early 2000s.

"Mike was an innovator, pioneer and visionary. He was a college football icon, a coaching legend but an even better person," said MSU Interim Athletics Director Bracky Brett. "We are all better for having known Mike Leach."

Leach leaves behind his wife Sharon. The couple shared four children together.

Leach was 61 years old.