Mississippi State is sadly reporting that head football coach Mike Leach died Monday night at the age of 61 from complications related to a heart condition.
“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,” Leach’s family said in a statement released Tuesday by the school. “Thank you for sharing in the joy of our beloved husband and father’s life.”
The statement said Leach suffered from a “personal health issue” at his home in Starkville on Sunday, and he was required to be airlifted to the UMMC in Jackson, about 125 miles from Mississippi State.
ESPN reported that Leach, who is in his third season as Mississippi State coach, was at practice Saturday before feeling ill on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the university president Mark E. Keenum said in a statement: “Coach Mike Leach cast a tremendous shadow not just over Mississippi State University, but over the entire college football landscape.
“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. I will miss Mike’s profound curiosity, his honesty, and his wide-open approach to pursuing excellence in all things.