LUBBOCK, Texas — Former Texas Tech Head Football Coach Mike Leach passed away, as officially announced by his family on Tuesday morning. While he was alive but still hospitalized, many VIPs both inside and outside the college football world sent messages of prayer or support.
Use the video player above to see some of Leach’s more memorable moments.
After his passing, former Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp said, “I am in complete shock over this news. Mike and I were colleagues and friends and I always had tremendous respect for what he was able to do here at Texas Tech and in the sport of college football.”
Sharp also said, “My heart goes out to his coaches, including the many that he mentored during his career, his team at Mississippi State, and to all his former players. Sharon and the kids are in my thoughts and prayers as they grieve this painful loss of a husband and father.”
“I truly loved Coach Leach and every minute I shared with him. I have been able to work with several of his former players and coaches, and they have told me so many amazing stories about the impact he had on their lives,” Lane Kiffin, head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels said.
Kiffin continued, “I’m grateful to be part of his final win, hug him and watch him walk off like the winner that he is. I know God is welcoming the Pirate home now.”
University of Alabama head football coach, Nick Saban, said “Mike Leach was a friend, and we are deeply saddened by his unexpected passing. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Mike over the last several years…Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sharon, their children and the entire Mississippi State family.”
Texas Tech Athletics provided the following statement:
“Texas Tech Athletics joins the countless others across the game of football who mourn the passing of Mike Leach. Coach Leach will be forever remembered as one of the most innovative offensive minds in college football history. His impact on Texas Tech Football alone will live on in history as one of the greatest tenures in the history of our program. From his 84 wins to his record-setting offenses, Coach Leach quickly built a legacy here at Texas Tech that will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Leach’s wife, Sharon, and their entire family during this difficult time.”
Leach remains Texas Tech’s all-time winningest coach after finishing 84-43 overall over his 10 seasons leading the Red Raiders from 2000-09. His tenure was highlighted by the Red Raiders’ 11 regular-season wins in 2008, which matched the Texas Tech single-season record for victories. The Red Raiders defeated No. 1 Texas that season, pushing Texas Tech to as high as No. 2 in the national rankings on its way to an appearance in the Cotton Bowl.
Following his tenure at Texas Tech, Leach spent eight seasons at Washington State, pushing the Cougars to a 55-47 record. He was in the midst of completing his third season as the head coach of Mississippi State at the time of his passing.TEXAS TECH ATHLETICS
This story will be updated as more people react to his passing.