Mississippi State said on Tuesday that Mike Leach, the unflinching, trailblazing, and gruff college football coach who helped revolutionize the passing game with the Air Raid style, has passed away due to complications from a heart issue. He was 61.
The family of Leach stated in a statement: “Mike was a devoted and generous father, husband, and grandpa. As a last-kind deed, he was able to donate his organs to UMMC.
- The love and prayers we have received from family, friends, Mississippi State University, medical personnel, and football fans all around the world have helped and encouraged us. We appreciate you participating in the happiness of the life of our adored father and husband.”
- Leach, who was in his third season as Mississippi State’s head coach, became unwell on Sunday at his Starkville, Mississippi, home. He received treatment at a neighborhood hospital before being flown 120 miles away, to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
- Leach battled pneumonia at the end of the season, occasionally hacking up blood during press appearances, but he appeared to be better, according to those who worked with him.
- Many people who knew Leach were shocked to hear that he had become quite unwell over the course of the previous several days and were hoping and praying for his recovery amid the difficult circumstances.
- He has had a significant effect on college football for the past 20 years, and he will continue to do so for many more.
Mike Leach: What happened to him?
Leach was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, according to the university’s original announcement made in the late afternoon of Sunday.
Leach had a heart attack at his Starkville home, according to an article in The Clarion Ledger published on Monday, and EMTs repeatedly shock his heart with a defibrillator to get it back in rhythm.
Leach, according to the report, was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital before being airlifted 125 miles away to a hospital in Jackson by helicopter.
The scenario was described as “dire” by the publication, which claimed Leach “may have had seizures with the prospect of brain damage.”
Shortly after that allegation surfaced, the university issued a fresh statement stating that Leach “remains in serious condition” and that his loved ones are by his side in Jackson.