LUBBOCK, Texas — Former President Donald Trump issued a statement Wednesday night in honor of former Texas Tech Head Football Coach Mike Leach, who more recently was head coach at Mississippi State.

“Mike Leach was an incredible Patriot and Coach, with a big heart for our Country and for Football,” Trump said. “My deepest condolences to his wife, Sharon, and family.”

“Coach Mike Leach will be missed by us all,” Trump’s statement said.

Mike Leach, left (AP Photo/John Bazemore) and Donald Trump, right (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Mike Leach, left (AP Photo/John Bazemore) and Donald Trump, right (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Coach Leach was – in a word – unconventional,” said Congressman Michael Guest, R-Mississippi on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday. “The air raid offense which he brought to college football changed the game of football forever. The sports world will not soon forget Coach Leach’s unique personality.”

Leach honored on House floor
Representative Michael Guest honored Mike Leach (image from screen capture of C-SPAN video)

In November 2008, Trump gave a video shout-out ahead of the Texas Tech v. Oklahoma game.

Trump, at that time said, “Mike, you’re a friend of mine. You’re a great coach. Don’t do anything different. Just do whatever you’ve been doing, because whatever it is, it works. You’re an amazing guy. Motivate those players. You may very well come out with a victory.”

ESPN Gameday reported how the two came to know each other. Gameday said Leach was in New York one time and cold-called Trump Tower. Eventually, they connected.

In 2016, the Seattle Times explained further how the two came to know each other, saying when Leach reached out, he had just read Trump’s book “How to Get Rich.”

The Times also reported that among the items Leach displayed in his office was a photo of Trump with an inscription in gold ink, which read, “To Mike, keep up the good work.”

In a video response to Trump for Gameday, Leach said in part, “Anybody having a bad day – a little time with Donald Trump will straighten it out.”

Coach Leach honored on the Texas Tech scoreboard video screen (Nexstar/Staff)

Leach died Monday night after suffering a heart attack Sunday in Starkville, Alabama.

The funeral service was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 20 inside the Humphrey Coliseum at Mississippi State University, according to information from MSU.